afaqs! news bureau

With increased focus on video content, Meta to end support for Instant Articles

After April 2023, news links on Facebook will take a user to a publisher’s mobile site.

Meta will be ending support for its Instant Articles next year, reports Axios. Launched in 2015, Instant Articles is a mobile format that allows quick loading of news articles on the Facebook app.

The company has informed its media partners that in six months Facebook will no longer support Instant Articles, said Meta spokesperson Erin Miller. After April 2023, news links on Facebook will take a user to a publisher’s mobile site.

“Currently less than 3 per cent of what people around the world see in Facebook's Feed are posts with links to news articles. And as we said earlier this year, as a business it doesn't make sense to over invest in areas that don't align with user preferences,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

This is a part of Meta’s broader pullback from news-related products on its apps and increased focus on video offerings. Last week, it announced that it will be shutting down its newsletter platform, Bulletin, by early 2023. And earlier this year it had announced that it will be shifting its resources away from its News tab.

Instead, Meta is trying to make Facebook’s Feed more like the short-video app TikTok, focussing more on algorithmic recommendations of preferred content.

In 2019, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Meta, referred to Facebook as the Fifth Estate. That year, the social networking platform brokered a slew of three-year deals with publishers. It ramped up its investment in news and also hired journalists to direct publisher traffic to its news tab. The tab included breaking news alerts and a dedicated local news section among other topics.

Have news to share? Write to us