MANILA – Facebook has just launched a beta version of Instant Articles in the Philippines to speed up content production and delivery.
Instant Articles was official launched in May this year to allow publishers to provide and create content for readers without leaving the Facebook app. Over 200 publishers including National Geographic, The New York Times, The Guardian and BuzzFeed were among its early adopters.
Around 50 publishers across Asia have signed initially to use it and an additional 30 publishers have agreed to follow suite. However, Instant Articles is now available to all iPhone users, with plans to expand it to Android later this year.
Asia publishers now live include China’s CCTVNEWS, Korea’s SBS News and India’s Hindustan Times. Inquirer.net is among the first in the Philippines to adopt Instant Articles.
“We are delighted to be working closely with Facebook. Already, more than half of our readers read Inquirer.net on mobile,” John Nery, INQUIRER.net editor in chief, said in a report. “Instant Articles will allow us to meet the exacting needs of an ever-growing audience,” he added.
It’s biggest boon to content speed. Currently, the average news story takes an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles.
Instant Articles are marked with a lightning bolt in News Feed which allows readers to play around with a suite of interactive features.
Among them are zooming in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting your phone, watching auto-play videos come alive as you scroll through stories, exploring interactive maps, listening to audio captions, and even liking and comment tingon individual parts of an article in-line.
In addition to better control of content, Instant Articles introduces publishers and brands to monetization opportunities on the social media platform. In the Asia Pacific, Facebook has over 500 million monthly active users.
Publishers in Asia are able to sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory. Publishers will also have the ability to track data and traffic through their current analytics tools.
“Expanding Instant Articles in the Philippines is a significant milestone for the product and for each of our early launch partners,” said Andy Mitchell, Director of Global Media Partnerships, Facebook. “Instant Articles has been designed with extensive feedback from publishers, and we’re excited to bring this collaboration to our publishing partners in Asia to help them distribute fast, interactive articles to their readers in the Facebook app.”
“We worked closely with our early media partners in the Philippines to begin rolling out Instant Articles locally. Internationally, publishers are already sharing thousands of Instant Articles on Facebook each day, and looking ahead we’re excited to partner with more publishers here to bring the Instant Articles experience to more people,” said Ken Cheung, Head of Media Partnerships, APAC, Facebook.