Frequently Asked Questions – Instant Articles | Facebook

What is Instant Articles?

Instant Articles is a tool for news publishers to distribute fast, interactive articles to their readers in the Facebook app.

How do publishers sign up to publish Instant Articles?

Instant Articles will be open to all publishers by F8, which is taking place on April 12, 2016. At that time, any publisher — of any size, anywhere in the world — will be able to easily create fast, interactive articles and deliver a better mobile reading experience to people worldwide on Facebook.

How do Instant Articles work?

Rather than loading an article using a web browser, which takes over 8 seconds on average, Instant Articles load using the same fast tools we use to load photos and videos in the Facebook app allowing articles to load as much as 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles. Beyond just speed, Instant Articles allow publishers to provide the same high quality, fluid experience and interactivity that people expect from a mobile app. Instant Articles has been designed with extensive feedback from news publishers. Publishers can serve their own ads and keep that revenue, track readership in real-time and with traffic attribution platforms like comScore, and customize the presentation of articles to match their brand.

Are Instant Articles available to everyone on Facebook?

Instant Articles are available to people who use Facebook iPhone and Android apps.

What happens if a reader is not on a device that supports Instant Articles?

People on a desktop computer or a mobile device that doesn't support Instant Articles will continue to link to the web version of the article.

Why would publishers want to participate in Instant Articles?

There are several benefits for publishers. Faster article loading allows readers to get to content as quickly as possible. Facebook's experience with other media formats, such as auto-play video, has been that more rapid content loading generates increased content consumption and sharing. We believe Instant Articles will help publishers grow their businesses on Facebook.

What types of articles work best for this format?

Instant Articles works for any type of article, from daily spot-news coverage to in-depth, longform features.

Do publishers need to create original content for Facebook?

No. Instant Articles provides a faster, Facebook-native way to distribute the content publishers already produce for their own websites. We've made it easy for publishers to publish their full catalog of articles each day directly from their existing CMS through an RSS feed with HTML5 markup, eliminating the need to author articles in a new location.

How much effort is required for publishers to reconfigure their content for Instant Articles?

It's a straightforward process because Instant Articles uses HTML and RSS, standard ways for authoring articles on the web. After some basic setup, publishers can automate Instant Article production directly from their own content management systems. Facebook provides tools so publishers can preview all the items in their Facebook publishing feed and edit or revise content manually. Publishers who wish to embrace new elements like interactive maps and auto-play videos can use simple, well-documented HTML tags to enhance their content with rich-media features.

How quickly are articles published and updated?

Instant Articles automatically loads new stories from the RSS feed as soon as they are published to the publisher's website and apps. Updates and corrections are also automatically captured via the RSS feed so that breaking news remains up to date.

Are all of my articles automatically shared to my Facebook Page's audience?

No. Sharing articles (or web links) to your Page is a completely separate workflow from publishing Instant Articles via RSS feed. Your Facebook Page admin still curates and shares the stories you want to publish to your Page and should not alter your Facebook publishing strategy. The process of publishing Instant Articles via RSS feed from your CMS simply renders all of your articles in the fast, interactive Instant Articles format whenever viewed in our mobile apps. Anyone who shares your stories from your website with their friends on Facebook will see the Instant Article version instead of the mobile web version of the story.

What monetization options are available?

Instant Articles offers flexible monetization options and publishers choose what works best with their business. Facebook Audience Network is the exclusive programmatic ad network solution for Instant Articles. Publishers may also sell and serve their own display ads. If direct-sold ads is a publisher's primary monetization model (or is a component of it), the publisher can also monetize any unsold inventory through Facebook Audience Network.

How does Audience Network work?

Facebook’s Audience Network improves the relevance of ads inside mobile apps by extending the reach of existing Facebook campaigns beyond Facebook. It also helps developers and publishers monetize their apps so they can continue building experiences people love.

Can publishers sell their own advertising on Instant Articles?

Yes. Publishers who direct-sell advertising can sell and serve their own display ads in their articles as standalone impressions or as part of larger packages and keep 100% of that revenue. To monetize unsold inventory, publishers can also display ads from Facebook Audience Network.

How do publishers track referral traffic from Instant Articles?

Instant Articles display within the Facebook app, so readers no longer redirect to the publisher's website. Facebook worked with publishers and traffic attribution providers to enable Instant Articles views in Facebook's app to count as traffic to the original publisher, just as they do on the mobile web. Instant Articles is compatible with industry-standard content analytics tools, including comScore attribution. Publishers can also use their existing web-based analytics systems or third-party providers to track article traffic.

What kind of readership data does Facebook provide?

Instant Articles allows publishers to track reader-engagement with Facebook’s own content analytics tools. Along with aggregate activity data, Facebook provides publishers with information on article reach and engagement, time spent in each article, scroll-depth and engagement with rich media assets like photos and videos. As with all of Facebook’s data products, no personally identifiable information is shared with third-parties, including publishers.

Are Instant Articles favored in News Feed ranking?

No. Instant Articles are ranked in News Feed by the same criteria that we use to rank standard articles on the mobile web. News Feed ranks stories based on a number of factors, including the amount people interact with them and how much time people spend reading them.

Do Instant Articles change how publishers or people share on Facebook?

No. Nothing about link-sharing changes. Publishers and readers link to articles just as they always have; there is no need to link or post an Instant Article differently. Each Instant Article is associated with the URL where the web version is hosted on the publisher's website. This means that Instant Articles are open and compatible with all of the ways that people share links around the web today: (1) When a friend or page you follow shares a link in your News Feed, we check to see if there is an Instant Article associated with that URL. If so, you will see it as an Instant Article. If not, it will open on the web browser. (2) When you share an Instant Article on Facebook or using email, SMS, or Twitter, you are sharing the link to the publisher website so anyone can open the article no matter what platform they use.