Why are publishers warming up to Facebook Instant Articles? The short answer is they’re generating revenue. Instant Articles is a way for businesses to speed up load times on mobile devices for the articles they post on Facebook.
Instant Articles load quickly because they’re hosted directly on Facebook. With this program, a user who clicks on a link in Facebook no longer has to wait for it to load on the company’s website. Instead, the article pops up immediately. Companies generate revenue through ads in the article itself.
Launched in May of last year, publishers have slowly been hopping on board the Instant Articles bandwagon, and that pace has recently picked up. Here’s why.
Customers Are Shifting To Mobile
One of the biggest reasons companies are transitioning to Instant Articles is the fact that the customer base is increasingly shifting to mobile. Many of Facebook’s 1.5 billion users scroll through the platform on their phones. A slow connection is quite common for mobile users, and patience is limited, so it’s important for articles to load quickly. Otherwise, publishers could be saying goodbye to many of their potential readers.
Instant Articles Are Generating Revenue
From the beginning, an attractive part of the program has been that businesses receive 100% of generated revenue if they sell the ads themselves. They can also let Facebook do the selling and keep 70% of the revenue generated.
After listening to feedback from publishers, Facebook released new advertising guidelines in December 2015. Businesses were not seeing the numbers they wanted with the original rules, which limited the volume and type of advertising. With the change, many publishers using the program say that Instant Articles are now generating about as much revenue as articles on their own mobile and desktop websites, even with Facebook taking that 30% cut.
Publishers Will Soon Have More Access
Facebook recently said it would be opening up its Instant Articles program to all publishers — anyone with a website and a Facebook page. Publishers who have seen big names like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Business Insider using the platform are more willing to give it a try. And if more companies see success like previous users of the program have seen, the numbers will multiply quickly.
Why Publishers Are Opening Up to Facebook Instant Articles
Facebook Instant Articles is a great way for businesses to expand their reach to mobile users. Some have expressed concern over losing control of their content, and — yes — Facebook has changed its platform before in ways that could affect the visibility of certain articles. That is a possibility. But so far, publishers have been very happy with the program, which allows businesses to control the experience with different font choices, and access data through their own analytics system or through a third party. With new advertising guidelines, recently increased access, and a great revenue plan, it makes sense that the program would be attractive to publishers.