With Instant Articles, Facebook is trying to see if it needs to change the way we interact with editorial content on social media. Shared informational or amusing content, regardless of the subject matter, is an integral part of Facebook, and the Menlo Park based company knows it all too well.
Right now, when we want to read an article shared by one of our friends, we are taken away from Facebook and to the site where the article is published. With Instant Articles, that would no longer be the case.
The article is hosted on the Facebook servers which means that it loads automatically as soon as we click the link. In simple terms, it’s a quicker, more effective way to access content.
This new service, if it does become available, will not prevent other sources of content that are not part of Instant Articles from publishing and sharing content, and Facebook has said they will not ask for any revenues stemming from the content. The idea here is simply to improve the interaction between the content and the reader.
Instant Articles is still in the developmental phase, and Facebook is working to improve the new service with content provided by highly popular sources such as BuzzFeed, the Atlantic, the New York Times, Bild, BBC News and National Geographic. A quick email sent to Facebook confirmed that the platform is not available to other publishers at the moment, but that more information will be available over the next few months.
It’s therefore difficult to determine at the moment how this new service will help businesses improve the distribution of their content on Facebook beyond the fact that users will be able to access it faster. That said, the fact that the social media giant is working to improve how content is accessed on their network proves the importance of said content.
It’s clear that Facebook is one of the most important content distribution mediums in the world. Businesses who are seeking to access hundreds of millions of users that seek information will want to take advantage of that impressive visibility.
As we wait to know more about Instant Articles, we have to drive home the importance of having a clear and effective editorial strategy that will dictate how we create information about our company, our products, and our service across social media.