In May of this year, Facebook launched Instant Articles for publishers, which would allow them to get their content to Facebook users in a more streamlined way, without having them leave the Facebook app, either.
It took some time, but Facebook has announced on Tuesday, October 20, that Instant Articles are now live on the other end of the spectrum: for the user. The company states that everyone that uses the Facebook for iOS app (which is seeing complaints of battery drain recently) will now have access to Instant Articles that will appear within their News Feed, apparently at random.
Users will be able to discern these articles thanks to the Lightning Bolt image that will appear in the top-right of a particular story that appears. The result of tapping on that story means it will load upwards of 10 times faster within the app, and its dedicated instant article, than what a standard mobile web article would open.
There are some interesting differences in Instant Articles, though, as each publication apparently has the power to make their stories stand out in different ways. Here’s how Facebook outlines it:
- Instant Articles from NBC News feature autoplay videos that come to life and begin automatically as readers scroll through the story.
- The Atlantic’s photo blog in Instant Articles lets you zoom in and explore the details of high-resolution photos just by tilting your phone.
- Readers can engage more deeply with BuzzFeed’s Instant Articles by liking and commenting on individual photos and videos throughout the story.
- Beautiful photo galleries in Instant Articles from The New York Times are seamless to swipe through.
- National Geographic’s Instant Articles let readers explore where the story happened with geo-tagged images that open interactive maps.
There are already plenty of publishers and publications that are using Facebook’s Instant Articles, but that list will grow quite a bit in the coming weeks. These are the publishers that will be joining the Instant Articles fun at some point in the future:
Billboard, Billy Penn, The Blaze, Bleacher Report, Breitbart, Brit + Co, Business Insider, Bustle, CBS News, CBS Sports, CNET, Complex, Country Living, Cracked, Daily Dot, E! News, Elite Daily, Entertainment Weekly, Gannett, Good Housekeeping, Fox Sports, Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood Life, Hollywood Reporter, IJ Review, Little Things, Mashable, Mental Floss, mindbodygreen, MLB, MoviePilot, NBA, NY Post, The Onion, Opposing Views, People, Pop Sugar, Rare, Refinery 29, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, TIME, Uproxx, US Magazine, USA Today, Variety, The Verge, The Weather Channel.
If you’ve had a chance to try out an Instant Article, what do you think?[via Facebook Newsroom]