Facebook’s Instant article feature — which was released on iOS last month — has mostly been gathering dust as very little activity was seen once the initial excitement died down. However, things might just start to change, as partner publishers get ready to pitch in with more content very soon.
According to the Wall street Journal, The New York Times along with NBC news are ready to contribute over 30 articles every day while other partners, such as BuzzFeed and The Atlantic are also looking to pour in as much news as possible.
According to Bob Cohn, president and chief operating officer at the Atlantic
We’re excited for the next phase. At the outset we’ll be putting most of our content into the feed and will closely monitor the effect, we are ready to change how much we make available.
Speaking on how publishers will get to keep 100% of the riches brought in from ads that they sell and 70% from those sold by the social media giant, he added
The Atlantic has already signed up AMC’s upcoming sci-fi TV show “Humans” to advertise alongside its Instant Article offerings.
These statements are thus giving strength to the rumors that the partners will — for obvious reasons — be more interested in marketing their own advertisements.
For those who are unfamiliar with the whole thing, Facebook entered into a tie-up with several news majors in May in a bid to incorporate news as instant articles into its timeline. The articles will pack written content along with a short video clip and will help newsrooms generate even more revenue since under Facebook’s new program they will have access to a far greater audience.
All well and good, but the disappearance of articles from the feature, right after a number of partner publications expressed doubts over what they saw as an attempt by Facebook to capture more of the mobile display ad market — 35% of which is already under its flag — gave us a pause. However, turns out that we had no cause for worry since according to Facebook, all this was part of its greater plan to gather feedback as it slowly rolled out articles along the way.
Well, the trial has obviously been a success since Facebook plans to give greater rein to its partners, eventually giving them the ability to publish Instant Articles at their convenience. In fact, publishing partners are all in on the plan too.
NBC for example, has set things up so that publishing on Facebook would require no more of an effort than publishing on their own site. Similarly, according to a statement by Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti, although Facebook plans to publish the articles to only certain groups of users for now, Buzzfeed is preparing to build the option to share news as an instant article the moment it comes in it’s system.
Some may call it an attempt by Facebook to grab more of the super lucrative ad space, but from the point of view of a regular facebook user, there is little cause for complaint. Well, let’s see how things turn out as our news feeds will finally see news that is news, “literally”.