Get ready to see way more “Facebook Instant Articles” on your newsfeeds soon.
Facebook launched its much discussed publishing product — designed to let media companies post their articles directly to its iOS app — in early May, but only five have articles have gone live so far.
But that’s about to change.
Publications like The New York Times and The Atlantic are about to start publishing dozens of stories a day, sources told Lukas Alpert and Jack Marshall at The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook boasts that the new format loads stories on mobile phones up to ten times faster than if readers click a link and head over to a publisher’s website.
The media industry threw a tizzy around the initial launch, debating whether Instant Articles were a curse or a blessing to online news.
With Facebook giving publishers 100% of revenue from ads appearing inside articles — and taking 30% of revenue for the ads Facebook sells against them — optimists in the media business saw it as one more way to increase readers and revenue.
Critics saw it as a dangerous concession that being a destination site for readers isn’t important and worried that Facebook would change its revenue split model to the detriment of publishers.
The innovation and strategy editor at The New York Times, Kinsey Wilson, told Alpert and Marshall that his site plans to sell its own ads, rather than having Facebook sell them.
From the beginning, Facebook didn’t give a concrete timeline for its Instant Articles roll-out plans, but said it wanted to use feedback from the first publishers to make improvements and updates to its format and guidelines. It looks like we’re finally going to start seeing the product in action.
Facebook posts links to all the Instant Articles here.