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If you follow the happenings within the social media sphere, you can see the constant attempt by social channels to add extra services here, there and everywhere. Instagram for example, just rebranded and even changed the length of their video time, Snapchat added stickers and the ability to create your own geo-filters, and recently, Facebook announced “Instant Articles”. So what exactly are Facebook’s Instant Articles?
To the casual Facebook user, Instant Articles can easily be glanced over, but for the rest of us, this is an interesting move with great potential.
What is it?
Instant Articles is a platform in which publishers can show their articles in HTML5, which is optimized for mobile users.
What does that mean for you?
If you enjoy getting news and reading articles from Facebook on your mobile device, loading will be faster and smoother. There will be less distraction and the viewing platform will be enhanced with easier to view videos, graphics, and links. It is a readers dream, according to Facebook.
What does this mean for publishers?
Well, the obvious benefit is that publishers will have a better method of sharing articles, from spot news to long-form. Through this, the idea is that a greater readership will be encouraged and conveniently linked back to the publications websites.
What is the big picture?
One can only speculate as to how this will change things, but likely it won’t be too much.
Facebook has slowly worked its way up over the years as a place for readers to get news. To some, the news is casual and includes updates on friends just as much as it does current events. Twitter is great as a news channel but naturally, cannot deliver more than a link (that whole 140 character thing).
Some may argue the validity of Facebook as a news platform, but with Instagram and LinkedIn on the ‘news-content‘ rise, Facebook is trying to make their space a de-facto channel for many, and Instant Articles seem to be the next step to make that a reality.