Facebook News Feed To Host Full-Length 'Instant Articles’ Later This Month

Starting sometime later this month, you may begin seeing entire news articles posted directly to Facebook. It's part of a new initiative called Instant Articles, which is intended to both keep Facebook users on the social network for longer periods of time, and eliminate the sometimes long loading times that accompany external links when clicking through on mobile devices.

Many publishers take advantage of the large number of eyeballs on Facebook by posting links to their online content. And for some, this has become a major source of traffic, which in turn leads to more advertising revenue. However, it also pulls users off of Facebook, and those visiting the social network from a mobile device sometimes have to contend with excruciatingly long load times when clicking on links. The Instant Articles initiative solves both problems, but only if Facebook can convince publishers that it's in their best interest to use it.

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According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is trying to attract publishers by revamping its revenue sharing program. There are several models being kicked around, one of which entails letting publishers keep all of the revenue from ads they sell on Facebook-hosted news sites. In turn, if Facebook sells an advertisement, it would keep around 30 percent of the revenue.

There are wrinkles that need ironing out. For example, it's not yet clear what format the ads might use. It seems logical that Facebook would prefer publishers use their own advertising technologies like Atlas over ones offered by Google, a rival in the social networking space.

Looking beyond the dollars and cents, publishers have other concerns, such as being able to control the user experience and access stats about their readers. In the end, it's a lot to figure out, though Facebook already has a handful of publishers willing to give Instant Articles a go, including The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, and more.