Social media titan Facebook announced on Thursday, Dec. 3, the beta launch of “Instant Articles” in the Philippines to allow faster loading of stories via their mobile devices.
Currently, the average news story takes an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile Web articles.
?Expanding Instant Articles in the Philippines is a significant milestone for the product and for each of our early launch partners,? Andy Mitchell, director of global media partnerships at Facebook, said in a press statement.
“Instant Articles has been designed with extensive feedback from publishers, and we?re excited to bring this collaboration to our publishing partners in Asia to help them distribute fast, interactive articles to their readers in the Facebook app.”
The Internet firm did not indicate the list of media companies which it tapped for the initiative. A cursory glance in a mobile device, however, would reveal that the website of Lopez-owned broadcast station ABS-SCBN is one of the companies already publishing Instant Articles.
Readers will see a lightning bolt in every Instant Article in the News Feed.
Along with a faster experience, Facebook said Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways.
?Zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting your phone. Watch auto-play videos come alive as you scroll through stories. Explore interactive maps, listen to audio cap-tions, and even like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line,? it said.
Facebook said it designed Instant Articles to give publishers control over their stories, brand experience and monetization opportunities. Publishers in Asia are able to sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook?s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory, it said. Publishers will also have the ability to track data and traffic through their current analytics tools.
?We worked closely with our early media partners in the Philippines to begin rolling out Instant Articles locally. Internationally, publishers are already sharing thousands of Instant Articles on Facebook each day, and looking ahead we’re excited to partner with more publishers here to bring the Instant Articles experience to more people,? said Ken Cheung, head of media partnerships for APAC at Facebook.
Globally, Instant Articles is available to all iPhone users. Android will launch later this year, with a small public beta available now, according to Facebook. ?Following the beta launch, Instant Articles will be open to a wider group of publishers in the months to come,? it added.