Facebook will be releasing Instant Articles to all publishers on April 12, and unlike other features, there will be some prep work involved.
Facebook Instant Articles will allow publishers to optimize their content so readers have instant access to it. Originally if you were to click on a link to an article you would be taken to the publisher's website. With Instant Articles, the content is loaded immediately with minimal wait time.
Note: If desktop users click the link, they will be taken to your website. Since mobile users won't be sent to your website, they will not be included in the referral traffic from Facebook. Using a standard web analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, will allow you to track traffic to Facebook Instant Articles.
What You Need:
- A Facebook page
- The Facebook Pages app (to preview articles on a mobile device before publishing)
- If you want to automate the publishing of your content, you'll need an RSS feed that displays the full content on your articles
- Facebook Instant Articles markup on your blog or website. (There is a plugin available for WordPress users.)
- A minimum of 50 articles to sumbit into the Facebook Articles Program.
Once you have the necessary tools, move to the following preparation steps.
Look Through Current Instant Articles
Larger publishers have been beta testing Instant Articles before it becomes available to all publishers. Some of the publishers include The New York Times, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. By researching how the content looks and what kind of content works best, you can decide if Instant Articles are a good fit for you.
Sign Up for Facebook Instant Articles
Once you decide that Instant Articles are a good fit for you, sign up! You will be emailed the Facebook's Developer Guide for Facebook Instant Articles. A link for the closed Facebook group of media publishers will also be included in the email.
Optimize your Website for Mobile
You have probably already done this step since mobile is constantly growing. If publishers are linking to your website through Instant Articles, chances are more people will be coming to your website. Ensuring your site is optimized for mobile will help users have a better experience.
You can learn more here.
Do you plan on using Instant Articles? How do you plan on preparing? Let us know!