Facebook has today announced that it is launching a news feature called Instant Articles, which posts news items directly to a user’s newsfeed.
Instant Articles differs from the current news feature in that users will no longer have to click through a headline link to access the publishers’ stories. Now articles will appear within a newsfeed, with the papers still collecting from ad space in the featured articles or through Facebook’s own ad service.
The feature will launch shortly on Facebook for iPhone, before appearing across other apps and online. The news service is expected to roll out articles from the BBC, BuzzFeed, NBC, The New York Times and National Geographic among other leading publishers.
President and CEO at the New York Times Mark Thompson commented that the organisation would be participating in the deal to “explore ways of growing the number of Times users on Facebook, improving their experience of our journalism and deepening their engagement.”
Although Facebook has not given much detail regarding the new scheme, it is thought that they news sources will be paid through a revenue sharing scheme in relation to how popular their pieces are.
According to Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, the new set-up will allow publishers to “deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”
Currently news items featured on Facebook take an average of eight seconds to load on a new site and are the “slowest single content type on Facebook.” Instant Articles hopes to load ten times faster with stories pre-loading while users scroll through their newsfeeds.
Using Facebook analytics tools, companies will also be able to access data to compare how their content published on the social media site performs against pieces featured on their own platforms.