Facebook Instant Articles is out of beta and publishers of all sizes are now allowed to use it. Rumors mills went abuzz as early as 2013 when Facebook, the largest social media site changed its algorithm to favor quality content and has now become the number one referrer of traffic to news site ahead of Google News. Let’s understand how to get started with Facebook Instant Articles.
You can sign up for Facebook Instant Articles by visiting instantarticles.fb.com. You need to have a Facebook Page and editor permissions. Choose the Facebook page you want to activate the articles for and start publishing.
The next step is to “Claim your URL” under which you claim or select the URL where you will be publishing the articles. This will be your blog’s homepage.
You can publish articles on your blog itself and it will also be published on Facebook Instant Articles platform so you do not have to recreate and rewrite the articles all over again. You just have to write it once. You can sync your articles from your blog via RSS feeds or FB API. Facebook Instant Articles also has a WordPress plugin if you are using the popular CMS for publishing to your blog.
There are other publisher platforms that are also supported by Facebook such as Drupal, Atavist, Medium, Perk Distributed, RebelMouse, ShareThis, Sovrn, Steller, and Tempest.
After you have customized your styling and completed your setup, you are ready to submit your feed to Facebook for final review and verification to make sure that everything is in order and working properly. Facebook will also check the formatting of the articles. If everything is in order then your RSS feed or API access will be approved.
What you can do with Instant Articles
There are a lot of cool things that you can do with Facebook Instant Articles like:
You can monetize Instant Articles and generate revenue from the content that you publish. If you are selling ads via the Facebook Audience Network, then Facebook will take a 30 percent cut however if you are selling direct ads, then you get to keep 100 percent of the revenue.
The Audience Network is Facebook’s answer to Google Adsense in which Facebook publishers are given the opportunity to monetize their content. You will find an option to opt into the Audience Network right in the publisher panel. Facebook has kept the Instant Articles very flexible so that you cannot only serve text based ads but also video ads.
What you need to take care of
Just like in Google search, a fast loading page on Facebook Instant Articles will also benefit in the form of more readership. Instant Articles can load more than 10 times faster than a normal mobile webpage. Consider this that the average attention time span on the Internet is less than 8 seconds so you only have 8 seconds to woo your customers or readers.
If and when you publish an Instant Article on the Facebook, do not think that it will create a post on your Facebook Page automatically. When the reader is using a mobile device and is directed to the article’s Facebook URL, he will see the link as an instant article.