Instant Articles are being used by major publishers and Facebook is taking note
Facebook has become the bane of every brand and publisher’s audience development strategy, as they increasingly limit visibility on posts that aren’t boosted though their ads platform.
However, one thing we can all be happy about is how they’re improving those ads. Although Facebook’s Instant Articles platform gets mixed testimony, Digiday reports that, “All the major U.K. publishers are publishing to Instant Articles to greater or lesser extents. The BBC and the Guardian were among the first, with the Guardian in particular going all in. The Economist, Financial Times, The Sun, Trinity Mirror, Daily Mail, Business Insider U.K., among others, are all testing it.”
They say, “Publishers like The Independent have said that yields on Instant Articles have eroded over the last few months, even for video.” However, “Trinity Mirror is a fan. The publisher runs all content for its biggest newspapers (The Mirror, Manchester Evening News) via Instant Articles and wants the same for its smaller titles. ” And, “French newspaper Libération is also content with its progress. It has been monitoring how long people spend on Instant Articles and found it has double (4 minutes 48 seconds) the time spent on its own mobile site.” They report, “The revenue is improving too.”
To address any publisher complaints, Facebook has been actively working to make Instant Articles better. In a blog post, Facebook product manager Harshit Agarwal wrote, “Creating value for publishers using Instant Articles is extremely important to us, and it is critical to our mission of delivering the best mobile reading experience for people on Facebook…Publishers tell us they measure value from Instant Articles in terms of traffic growth and per-page monetization, so we have focused our investments in this product along those two dimensions.”
The changes according to Agarwal:
1. “For publishers with direct sold advertising businesses, we now support larger and flexible ad units in Instant Articles, up to an aspect ratio of 2:3. Publishers can bring more of their direct sold campaigns to Instant Articles, including custom, premium formats. We expect this will expand available ads inventory and improve overall yield for publishers, while maintaining a great reading experience for people.”
2. “For publishers who monetize Instant Articles with Audience Network, we’re happy to announce that video and carousel ad formats are now rolled out across iOS and Android. These high-value native ad formats provide a more engaging experience for people reading Instant Articles, driving performance for advertisers and revenue for publishers. No additional implementation is needed to benefit from this update.”
3. “Support for larger and custom ad sizes will allow publishers like Vox Media to extend premium campaigns from their mobile websites onto Instant Articles.”
4. “We evolved our policies around ad load in Instant Articles to increase the number of ads per article, and made improvements to our auto-placement feature to make placement of ads as easy and effective as possible for publishers while driving value for people and advertisers. We’ve also started testing a native call-to-action in Instant Articles, which makes it easier for publishers to create deeper relationships with their readers.”
Are you using Facebook Instant articles? Why or why not?