Facebook today released instant articles for selected media partners to create a seamless mobile experience. Users can click on what appears to be an external link posted by a brand page in their newsfeed, but it then allows them to read the content instantly without leaving Facebook, and without the 8-second load time of using a separate browser.
The articles are easy to read and feature instant play videos, click-to-expand images, motion graphics and GIFs making for an enjoyable user experience. There is a share button that allows sharing to twitter and Pinterest as well as Facebook and the option to like the page that has posted is also there. Other than that the branding is low key and similar to the reader function on mobile, although headings and fonts are the same as the media company’s site.
Current partners are The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild and on their blog Facebook don’t mention working with further media companies or other brands.
The benefit for Facebook is of course that they can track users for even longer and that content shared on twitter and Pinterest will effectively link back to Facebook.
Media companies taking part benefit from their content being accessed more quickly, being easier to read and a more enjoyable experience. We’d expect an increase in click through to content and lower bounce rates.