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What are Facebook Instant Articles?

This month, Facebook launched Instant Articles for all Facebook publishers. Previously, Instant Articles were only available to select pages. Now all you need to do is enroll your page here. Once you’re enrolled, here’s everything you need to know before you create your first article.

What are Facebook Instant Articles?

“Instant Articles are a new way for any publisher to create fast, interactive, articles on Facebook.”

Facebook Instant Articles

Essentially, Instant Articles are a way to create rich, engaging content for mobile users. The articles auto-populate directly within Facebook’s mobile app and creates an easy, engaging reading experience.

Why should I care?

  1. Large mobile audience

With roughly “934 million mobile daily active users on Facebook” mobile optimization is becoming increasingly more important, and Instant Articles are another way to reach this audience more effectively.   

Question: How large is your mobile audience? Before you create an Instant Article, check out your website traffic to determine whether or not your audience is on mobile.

  1. Better user experience.

According to Facebook, Instant Articles “leverage the same technology used to display photos and videos quickly in the Facebook app,” meaning all content is accessible directly within Facebook’s app, making load time faster and content more readable.

Stats on Facebook Instant Articles

  1. Potentially better Facebook reach

Not only are Instant Articles easier to read, they could also potentially help with overall reach. Facebook has updated their algorithm to account for time spent reading articles.

Translation → If users are spending more time reading your articles they will be shown more within the newsfeed.

What to do now?

Instant Articles aren’t for everyone. If you have a dominantly mobile audience and engaging content it’s worth a shot. Most nonprofit organizations have a story to tell. Use Instant Articles for that! Whether you’re saving Syrian refugees or the rainforest, Instant Articles are a good way to get your message in the hands of your Facebook supporters.

Next Step:

Do some research.

See what you need to do in order to connect your content. Are there any plugins you can add to your website to make it easier? WordPress and Drupal have both created plugins to help sync your content to Facebook.

Check your content calendar.

Is there an article you want to share? Plan ahead and figure out what may be a good piece of content to test out Instant Articles.

Don’t forget about website content.

Facebook Instant Articles won’t replace all your website content, having a balance between website owned content and highly engaging Instant Articles will help get your message and brand in front of your supporters.

Stay tuned!

In a few weeks, we’ll take it a step further and explain how to create an Instant Article and review some of the best practices. In the meantime, check out Facebook’s step-by-step guide on how to create an Instant Article.

Taylor Johnston

taylor@mediacause.org