Facebook continues to slowly roll out various parts of Facebook for Business. Instant Articles is to be launched next, and is being pitched as…

“A new way for publishers to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook … articles load instantly, as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile Web … Instantly zoom into high-resolution photos and tilt to explore in detail. Watch autoplay video … as you scroll through the article. See where it all happened with interactive maps. Hear the author’s voice with embedded audio captions.”

Also “sign-up to the newsletter” or “book now” buttons.

“On April 12th at Facebook’s F8 conference, we will open up the Instant Articles program to all publishers — of any size, anywhere in the world.”

There’s already a Simple Facebook Instant Articles — WordPress Plugin

“Add support for Facebook Instant Articles to your WordPress site. This plugin creates a new articles endpoint, and a feed to give to Facebook with links to those articles.”

I’m not sure if this also has FB-tailored widgets for zoom-able photos, video and audio, maps, buttons that interface with MailChimp and Eventbrite. But anyone with a standalone WordPress install can get such widgets. Might be interesting to also create a sister plugin that helps to format bits of an academic article into a one-page Instant Article (abstract + the gist of the conclusion + a picture + plain English suggestions + auto Wikipedia-linking of recognised phrases).

The Wall Street Journal reported…

“Publishers are entitled to 100% of revenue generated from ads in Instant Articles, provided they sell and serve the ads themselves. Publishers keep a 70% cut if they’d rather have Facebook sell ads on their behalf through its mobile ad network, the Facebook Audience Network.”

I suspect we’ll see a Pinterest-isation of the articles ‘post cards’ for desktop and tablet users, outside of the users’s Facebook streams, once they’re established…


It’s unknown if publisher ad-blocker blockers will be tolerated in articles or not. I’d guess that Facebook’s terms will forbid publishers from gunking up their FB Articles with scripts of that type, or the whole thing would turn into a Wild West and Facebook could also be the target of a lot of user negativity. Hopefully Instant Articles will also be free of annoying slide-ins and page-blocking “Give us your email address!” and “Agree to our use of cookies!” overlays.

Personally I’ll continue to fling longer articles to Instapaper and read them on the Amazon Kindle eReader. I presume that Instapaper will work with the new Facebook Instant Articles, as it does with other articles.