Instant Articles, Facebook’s new tool for interactive and faster-loading articles, was launched last week. The release has certainly created a lot of buzz and some are even calling it a game changer. But is this new social media tool right for your business?
With features like fast loading speeds, responsive photos and videos, interactive maps, audio captions and control over brand identity representations, it may seem as though Instant Articles is a no-brainer solution for distributing your marketing content on social media, but that may not necessarily be the case.
Some things to consider:
While Instant Articles will provide readers with an easy and interactive way to experience your content, you’re giving up a lot of control, analytics and lead generation capabilities in return. Readers of your articles will no longer be redirected to your website. This means losing the opportunity to capture valuable information about the reader, convert them into a lead and nurture them as a potential buyer. Instead of the reader diving deeper into your website, they will return to Facebook, ultimately resulting in you, the marketer, missing out on additional potential touch-points and a lead.
On the other hand, Instant Articles gives readers an unprecedented ability to view and interact with the content they are reading by being able to like and comment on individual parts of the article, not just at the end as is the case with most platforms. This improved user experience could, in turn, reflect positively on your brand.
So who does Instant Articles benefit?
Publishers (such as The Huffington Post and Mashable) have been flocking to the idea, especially because of the capability to share highly interactive and mobile-optimized content with a wide audience.
One thing is for certain, with interactive and responsive graphics, an up to 10-times faster load time and the ability place ads within the articles, (Yes, this means holding onto all of the advertising revenue) it’s no wonder publishers are excited about the change.
For publishing company launch partners like BuzzFeed, The New York Times, National Geographic and NBC News, among others, Instant Articles will deliver visually appealing articles to a large audience with more control and customization than was previously offered on Facebook’s mobile web version.
For Facebook users, this means a whole new way of reading and absorbing content on a mobile device. With the improved speed and display, plus the interactive maps and photos, Instant Articles could make Facebook a preferred platform for readers to view and digest content.