The platform was initially created to help college students to keep in touch. Now it is so much more than that.
Marketers saw a huge opportunity to get their brand out there. Get their products out there. Promote themselves and build lists. If you use Facebook to build your business you know how important it is to be able to adapt to the changes.
Facebook Instant Articles Review
Facebook is constantly upgrading and adding on. Even if you’re not an online marketer I’m sure you can see the changes happening in Facebook almost weekly.
Now Facebook is taking that next step and making their platform a legitimate publishing platform. The notes of old are going to get a complete makeover.
Do you remember back in 2015 Facebook accounced they would come out with Instant articles?
Facebook was beta testing the new technology. They took a very selected group of publishers to see how this would work.
Now this platform is opened and ready for anyone to take full advantage.
The burning question is this… If you are a blogger or you are creating content for your website should you care? Should you sign up for this service?
Facebook Instant Articles – What Are They?
Let’s rewind a bit and start at the very beginning.
Simply put, these Facebook Instant Articles are web articles that you can publish directly on Facebook.
You will be able to publish news stories, tutorials, listicles, really anything you can think of. Overall it is similar to what you would find on any number of websites or blog around the net.
So what is the difference?
These Instant Articles will load instantly. There will be no wait time. If you are familiar with waiting for a webpage to load you know what I am saying.
These Facebook Instant Articles load in one tenth the time of what you are use to.
The average mobile webpage takes around 8 seconds to load. These pages will load instantly.
Facebook Instant Articles – TechCrunch Video
In this video TechCrunch gives a good explanation of how these instant articles work.
Facebook Instant Articles – Mobile?
Major tech giants are putting most of their focus on mobile. Google is placing more and more weight on mobile and Facebook certainly has taken notice and things are going more in that direction.
If you aren’t too tech savvy it’s ok. Basically this is how it works. Lets say you’re in Facebook and you click an article in your web browser. You will notice a new tab or window will open. That is where you will see the regular publisher’s site.
Now lets say you click on that same exact article on mobile. Now it is optimized for Facebook instant articles. Your Facebook mobile app will open that ‘instant article’ within the Facebook app.
Your Facebook app no longer uses Chrome or Safari to open your articles!
What Facebook is trying to do is make the reader’s experience the main priority. Giving Facebook readers the best and fastest experience to trending stories.
I would suggest you optimize your content for Facebook Instant Articles and this is why. Lets say someone clicks on your link within the Facebook mobile app. Now they are reading your content in the best and the fastest way.
So if your reader likes your content they are more app to stick around and spend more time on your website or blog.
The more time they spend on your website or blog increases the chances for them to take action.
These things will most certainly increase:
- More likely to subscribe to your mailing list
- More likely to share your post
- More likely to buy your products
You can also tap into some other HTML5 features that Facebook offers.
Now through Facebook Instant Articles you can enable things like scrollable images and zoomable videos.
You can take normal content and make it look really good.
Instant Articles – Downside?
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying there is a good side and bad side to almost anything. Well here is no different but the good may outweight the bad depending how you look at it.
If you tap into the Facebook Instant Articles you can make ad revenue. If you are the one selling the ad space you earn.
Of course Facebook is going to want their cut which is 30%.
However you can look at it this way. You are now tapping into a whole different marketplace that you may not have tapped into otherwise.
Another downside is workload. You are going to have to put the work in to optimize all of your posts for Instant Articles.
For example now your RSS feed must be full speed. It must also contain your most recent 50 posts.
That is the minimum unless Facebook changes that later on. This could be an obvious problem for sites having under 50 posts. That exclused them folk right away.
The reason Facebook Instant Articles bothers me most is your content does not count toward your traffic numbers.
In my opinion this is exactly what Facebook wants and what most websites or blogs want.
Time on their site! Period.
Facebook Instant Articles keeps readers within the cofines or Facebook. They don’t leave.
And the more ad revenue created the more money in their pockets.
Facebook doesn’t want people to leave. So if readers are staying on Facebook and not going to your site through you browser your traffic numbers are going to suffer.
Your monetization and your marketing potential is certainly going to suffer.
Facebook Instant Articles – My Thoughts
From a marketing standpoint there is a lot to consider. Before activating Instant Articles you have to think about a few things.
The good would be reader experience and new audience to your article. Facebook has already stated the algorithm won’t change however you may get more likes, comments and shares with a better user experience.
The bad is you could certainly run into optimization problems. You’re also certainly going to lose out on regular traffic numbers.
It’s not an easy decision. I would give it more time and let Facebook work some things out. When I learn more on this I will certainly give an update.
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