Facebook’s Instant Articles: Mobile Platform of the Future?

If you’ve ever been stuck in a tunnel with slow wireless or just found yourself clicking through an article with a promising headline, you’ve probably spent some time waiting patiently (or not, in my case) for the article to load — and then, in some cases, to load again to full mobile display capabilities.


Instant articles are a fast, easy way to access all sorts of news and features directly from your news feed. It’s commonly used by major publishers — think the New York Times, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. Although, starting last April, any organization can use this feature, even if they are not a traditional internet publisher.


The launch came with a promise that the time saved accessing articles and blogs from news feeds would reap rewards for content. And it has worked. Facebook is now one of the top referrers of traffic to news sites and blogs of all sizes. Last year, traffic analytics company Parsely revealed that Facebook had even overtaken Google as the top referrer of traffic to news sites.


Any Facebook page can use the instant articles feed to push content. While there have been some concerns about the potential of the control element over this type of “outsourcing” of brand publishing, for nonprofits looking for new ways to gain readership on key health care or education issues, this feature is a great way to showcase content, limit click-throughs, and position news in a different way. The sign-up is user-friendly, but is not without its elements of process to get up and running.


So, how can nonprofits take advantage of this and position their brand’s content without breaking bandwidth or budget?

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Only page admins can post instant articles. Make sure you have an admin or editor role on your organization or brand’s Facebook page — or work with someone who does.
  • Allow extra time for your content or web management team to sync with the Instant Article tool.
  • Instant Articles can be published directly from your content management system. Make sure you make time to work with your web team on getting this synced and set up.
  • Allow up to 24 hours for publishing.
  • After submitting the article, Facebook does run a quick check for formatting. However, the turnover time is pretty quick in most cases.
  • Track your metrics. Make sure you have Google Analytics or other forms of tracking on your article link to measure traffic and conversions.

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Categories: Digital