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Facebook introduces 'Instant Articles' feature for publishers

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | May 14, 2015
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The tool will allow publishers to upload articles just the way photos and videos are uploaded on its platform.

Social networking site Facebook has introduced the 'Instant Articles' tool for publishers helping them to create fast, interactive articles on the platform. The move comes in the wake of increasing sharing of news articles on mobile apps by users.

Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers control over their stories, brand experience and monetisation opportunities. Publishers can sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook's Audience Network to monetise unsold inventory. Publishers will also have the ability to track data and traffic through comScore and other analytics tools.

A screen grab of Facebook app featuring an instant article

"Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience to their readers on Facebook. Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models," says Facebook's chief product officer, Chris Cox.

Mark Thompson, president and CEO, The New York Times Company, says, "The New York Times already has a significant and growing audience on Facebook. We're participating in Instant Articles to explore ways of growing the number of Times users on Facebook, improving their experience of our journalism and deepening their engagement. We have a long tradition of meeting readers where they are and that means being available not just on our own sites, but on the social platforms frequented by many current and potential Times users."

"It is great to see Facebook trailing new ways for quality journalism to flourish on mobile," says Tony Danker, International Director, Guardian News and Media. "The Guardian is keen to test how the new platform can provide an even more engaging experience for our readers. It is then vital that, over time, Instant Articles delivers recurring benefit for publishers, whose continued investment in original content underpins its success," he adds.

Facebook is working with nine launch partners for Instant Articles: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC, Spiegel and Bild.

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