Our Facebook feeds have become a primary way of staying informed with 30 percent of adults getting their news from Facebook alone — but how many times has a headline caught your eye, you’ve clicked into the piece and the page took so long to load, you lost interest? Facebook aims to solve that issue with Instant Articles, which load 10 times faster than external links.
The social media/tech giant first introduced Instant Articles back in May of 2015 into our iOS News Feeds, but only a small percentage of iPhone users received the feature. Two weeks ago on October 20, they rolled out the feature to all iOS users. Hooray! Currently, Android users have a public beta version, but will have to wait on the public release.
The difference between Instant Articles and news that’s shared by the publication on their individual pages is that Instant Articles are hosted on Facebook’s own servers, thus the faster load time. These articles also load faster because they cut out advertising and tracking code built into most sites, so no annoying pop-up ads when you click in. And good news for publishers — views on Facebook still count as views toward meeting your goals. YAAAS.
Instant Articles taps into a slew of interactivity tools as well. With it, you can zoom into photos and maps in the article with just the tilt of the phone because it takes advantage of the iPhone’s own built-in accelerometer. You also get audio captions and the ability to comment on individual lines within the post — pretty cool, eh?
Many of the biggest publishers on the Internet, like TIME, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Mashable, The Verge and more, including yours truly, will be participating.
Next time you’re scrolling through your iPhone, take note of the links in your Feed that have a little lightning icon (those are Instant Articles). Click in and let us know what you think!
Will you be trying out Facebook’s Instant Articles? Tell us in the comments below!