Facebook Teams With 9 Publishers To Supercharge Your News Feed With ‘Instant Articles'

Facebook gave the world a heads up earlier this month that it was planning to host full-length news articles as part of a new initiative called Instant Articles, and now just over a week later, the social network is ready to make good on that promise. What that means for you (assuming you use Facebook) is a better reading experience, versus clicking through to an external site that sometimes takes up to 8 seconds to load.

In addition to speed, Instant Articles boasts a few interactive features that publishers can take advantage of. For example, you can zoom in and get a closer look at parts of a high-resolution photo by tilting your phone; watch auto-play videos spring to life as you scroll through stories; explore interactive maps; listen to audio captions; and of course like and comment, though you have the ability to do so on individual parts of an article in-line.

Facebook News

"Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook," said Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. "Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models."

Facebook has brought on board nine publishers to take advantage of Instant Articles. They include The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel, and Bild.

That's been perhaps the biggest challenge, and to convince publishers to give Instant Articles a spin, Facebook altered the landscape a bit. Publishers have full control over their stories, brand experience, and monetization. They can sell ads in their articles and keep all the revenue, or use Facebook's Audience Network. Publishers can also track data and traffic.

Those of you who own an iPhone will be the first to see Instant Articles. No word on when the initiative will grow to include Android and Windows Phone devices.