Instant Articles is a new way for publishers to create fast and interactive articles on Facebook. Now, WordPress has partnered with Facebook to launch a plug-in that supports instant articles out of the box. Facebook teamed up with numerous WordPress publishers to test this plug-in. It will be available to WordPress publishers on 12th April 2016. This plug-in helps WordPress publishers’ to share their content seamlessly on Facebook! It also offers a better user experience and takes less time to load.
Facebook’s Instant Articles
Instant Articles offer a fast and interactive experience to the users for reading articles. Instant Articles upload 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles. It also promotes features like tilt-to-pan photos, auto-play video, interactive maps, and embedded audio captions. Facebook has designed Instant Articles to make it easy for publishers to use with existing CMS (Content Management Systems).
How Facebook Instant Articles Work?
Facebook teamed up with a group of publishers on WordPress to beta test the plugin for Instant article. Facebook verified whether all Instant Articles generated from WordPress website are properly formatted or not. Instant Articles published after installing plugin must contain all the content that is included in web version of an article. The new Facebook format contains a built-in set of interactive tools that help stories come to life on mobile, including auto-play video and tap-to-zoom image galleries.
How to Get and Install Plug-in for Facebook Instant Article?
1. The plugin for Instant Article will be available in WordPress plugin directory soon. But you can download plugin via Github. Download zip file of plugin from Github, to get started.
2. Install the plug-in to your WordPress website, once you’ve downloaded the zip file. To do this, hover over the Plugins option in the left side of the page in WordPress site dashboard and then click on ‘Add New.’
3. You’ll now be taken to the ‘Add Plugins’ page. Select ‘Upload Plugin’ and then choose to upload the ZIP file that you’ve downloaded from Github.
4. A new type of feed will be added to your website after installation of plugin. The address of the feed will be in the form /?feed=instant-articles or /feed/instant-articles. The address of the feed depends on the permalink settings of WordPress. The feed is similar to RSS feed and also includes extra data and markups that are required by Facebook specification. You can check working of feed by visiting [your blog domain]/?feed=instant-articles or [your blog domain]/feed/instant-articles.
Connecting RSS Feed to Facebook Page
Next step is to connect your new feed to Facebook page.
1. Visit settings of your Facebook Page to connect RSS feed to Facebook page. Click Settings from the top of page.
2. Then select Instant Articles from the menu. (The setting is not currently available to every Facebook Page owner and will be available during the global release before April 12, 2016.)
3. You will be directed to Instant articles page.
4. Here, you’ll be able to add your RSS feed – the feed created by the WordPress plugin.
Once you’ve submitted the feed, it will be verified by Facebook to check whether all Instant Articles are formatted properly and according to community standards and content policies.Once your RSS feed gets approved by Facebook, all the new articles received from RSS feed will be available for readers on their Instant Articles enabled devices.
If you don’t want automatic publishing of articles, you can turn off auto publishing. For this, tick the checkbox – Import all articles as draft. This will ensure that all new published articles received from RSS feed will be stored as unpublished drafts until you publish them manually through your Page admin dashboard.
Instant Articles library
All of the drafts and published Instant Articles will be available in the library. To view library, click Publishing Tools from the top of your Page, and then select Instant Articles on the left side of the screen.
The Instant Articles library appears like this:
Here you can edit articles and choose which of your drafts to publish.
Impact of Facebook Instant Articles
Building an instant article doesn’t mean automatically creating a Facebook post. It’s a tool that will enhance your article if someone shares that article on Facebook. It simply means that if a reader on mobile will be redirected to URL of the article on Facebook, the article on that link will be displayed as an instant article. The new product will not only impact readers, but will also have a great impact on content creators, marketers, publishers, etc.
Embedding articles within the app is for sure a logical step forward. But it’s really difficult to say that whether it’s going to be successful or not. Moreover, the publishers posting content directly to the app will be able to keep all the revenue generated against the stories they sell. This means that instant articles will help publishers in generating more revenue. Let’s see how “Instant Articles” will be impacting publishers:
1. Better User Experience – Standard web article shared across Facebook takes approximately 8 seconds to load. But instant Articles improves the user’s reading experience by loading content ten times faster than standard mobile web articles.
2. Revenue – With instant articles, publishers can sell ads in their articles and keep the whole generated revenue. If you’re a publisher and sell the ads yourself, 100% revenue will be yours! If in case Facebook sells the ads, then 70% of the revenue will be yours. Publishers can track the data through analytic tools like Google Analytics and comScore.
The success of Instant Articles is imminent and the impact that it’s going to have on the publishing industry is hard to comprehend right now. However, it’s for sure that Google will be keeping a close eye on the success of Instant Articles as Google AMP also plans to change the user experience model for mobile browsing.
How’s your experience with Facebook Instant Articles? Let us know in the comments below!