Facebook has introduced a new feature that’ll make news articles much more engaging and seamless to read, as the social networking giant just announced ‘Instant Articles.’
It’s a brand new feature available only on the iPhone for now; it will allow top publishers to put up articles with faster loading times, in an attempt to speed up the whole news reading process. As of now, The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC and The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News and Germany’s Spiegel and Bild are the nine publishers that will be available.
Facebook says that the average loading time for an article goes as long as 8 seconds, which apparently makes it one of the slowest contents shared on Facebook, and with the addition this feature, it’ll make it 10 times faster than before.
In addition, publishers will be allowed to add high-res images, audio captions, auto-play videos and other nuances that’ll spruce up the overall quality of the article. For instance, users can zoom-in on images just by tilting their device, and even leaving comments on any part of the article negating the need to scroll all the way down to the comments section.
If the platform proves to be a success, it could pose a threat to publishers as they’ll be ever more dependent on Facebook as a news sharing platform. Though it seems Facebook is doing their bit, as they’ll be offering publishers 100% ad revenue from Instant Articles and even sell their ads in these articles.
As far as Facebook is concerned, the company gets to keep its users glued on to the Facebook page, rather than switching off to a different website. Facebook is not financially gaining anything here, though if users prefer to the stick to the format, Facebook will likely be in a more dominant position compared to publishers in the future.
Meanwhile, there’s no word yet on the availability of this feature on Android and other platforms.