Yes, you! Facebook is opening up its 'Instant Articles’ platform to everybody from April 12th following their F8 developer conference.

The move, at its core, is to drive more traffic and revenue to Facebook as it begins to become a content-hosting platform of its own.

What Are 'Instant Articles'?

'Instant Articles' are fast-loading pieces of content that do not take you away from Facebook’s in-app experience. The article is stripped of any fancy coding and effects, pre-loaded for the user as they make their way through their timeline and loads up to 10 times faster than the current standard mobile web.

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Since its initial launch in May of 2015, media powerhouses such as Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and National Geographic have heavily adopted the format in an effort to distribute quality content to its readers as quickly as possible.

Facebook Instant Article

An example of a custom 'Instant Article'

What Does This Mean for You?

The worldwide rollout of 'Instant Articles' for publishers of any size means that you can now distribute your content quickly to your Facebook readers. That’s the long and short of it. Readers can enjoy and share the content without ever leaving the Facebook platform. 

Unfortunately, if Facebook contributes a large traffic source to your website, you’re likely to see a dip in views as the readers never actually make their way to your URL. On the other hand, if your content is engaging and of a good quality, it is more likely to be shared by your readers which is much easier in the 'Instant Articles' format. 

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Facebook have vowed that publishers will continue to receive 100 percent of their revenue through directly sold ad space, or are offering to put ads into your instant article for a 30 percent cut of revenue. Given Facebook’s huge user-base and the ease of sharing 'Instant Articles', any drop in website traffic may be made up for in ad revenue. How this will play out is yet to be seen.

Facebook Instant Article

An example of a custom 'Instant Article'

How Do I Create an Instant Article?

If you’re a WordPress user, your luck is in. Facebook has worked with a handful of WordPress users and Automattic (parent company of WordPress) to develop, build and test a plugin that creates 'Instant Articles' effortlessly. The plugin will be free to download as well as open source, allowing the WordPress community of developers to continue to build and improve upon its foundations.

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If you aren’t on WordPress, we suggest familiarising yourself with Facebook’s documentation for 'Instant Articles'. It will require some technical knowledge to integrate, but there will undoubtedly be tools popping up shortly to help publish your content to Facebook with little hassle.

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