Facebook Rolls out instant articles for android users
Facebook has taken a vital step towards a full roll out of Instant Articles, announcing that the fast-loading format is now available to people using Android devices. The Android launch comes nearly two months after the launch on iOS, and gives publishers with access to the format access to nearly all of the 1.39 billion people who log onto Facebook at least once a month via mobile apps.
Facebook introduced the feature last spring, billing it as a way for publishers to give their readers a better mobile reading experience with load times said to be 10 times faster than standard links to websites. Facebook says Instant Articles are being shared at a higher rate than standard links, and because of Facebook’s distribution power, publishers appear to be willing to sign up, swallowing their fears of losing referral traffic.
Facebook today said more than 350 publishers globally have joined the program and more than 100 are publishing daily.
Facebook Instant Articles product manager Michael Reckhow announced today’s rollout in a blog post:
We’ve been beta testing Instant Articles for Android with a small group of people on Facebook for several weeks, and as we saw on iPhone, the faster, richer reading experience inspires people on Android to share Instant Articles with their friends more often than they do with standard web articles”.
Facebook made concessions about the rules for selling ads within Instant Articles, giving publishers the ability to serve more ads. Publishers who sell their own ads for the feature keep all the revenue. Facebook takes a 30 percent cut for Instant Article ads that it sells.
What makes Instant Articles such a draw for readers is that they feature interactive and immersive designs, and they often load in an “instant,” which means you won’t be waiting as long as you would if you decided to instead read that article on the Web.
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