Magazine Platforms Aplenty: Facebook, Apple, Google, and More

The floodgates are opening for digital publishers looking to capitalize on magazine platforms, as big names offer big promises with distributed content

Magazine platforms mean everything to your business model, which means they mean everything to ours, too. We’ve built our business on multiplatform publishing, which includes everything from a portal to social media to events to ecommerce content strategy.

Now, magazine platforms have taken on an entirely new dimension. Is it just us, or does Apple seem antiquated these days? With that company, Google, and of course Facebook jumping in to the game, the temptation is for digital publishers to just hand over all content and call it a day.

But, of course, you can’t do that. Your approach must be much more nuanced and considered. After all, why do these services want your content so bad? Because it’s worth a lot of money! has some good advice for magazines about to make the leap. Let’s see what they’ve got for us!

The Plusses and Minuses of Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook Instant Articles is now available to all publishers, so there’s no more armchair quarterbacking – it’s time for you to decide whether to take part, and has some pros and cons.

“Instead of seeing a headline, photo and sentence or two from the article, users see the entire article right there in the feed. They have instant access to the content without having to click through to your site, which means that they are much more likely to at least scan the article, if not read it. Even if users are only scanning your article, you have a greater opportunity to draw them in. You must write compelling content and use eye-catching page elements, such as bold words, bullet points, and appropriate links,” Roee Ganot writes.

“Scrolling the newsfeed is often a passive activity for most users, so there is a higher likelihood that they will actually read through your article since they don’t have to do anything else to read it besides keep scrolling. The faster loading time also helps them to stay around — most would abandon your site if the content took too long to load. If users like what they read, they are likely to click through to your site to discover more of your content, to click on more of your ads, and to become customers. Instant articles allow you to create more brand recognition, as well, since the articles can include elements like your logo, tag line, and brand colors. Even if users aren’t reading your articles, they will see those elements and become more acquainted with your brand. The more exposure you have, the easier it will be to reach customers later. Finally, Facebook instant articles can help you get more engagement on the site. Readers are much more likely to share or “like” your article, which can further increase your brand exposure and help you get more traffic to your site.”

A Primer on Google AMP, Latest Among Publishers

Not to be outdone, Google is entering the fray with Accelerated Mobile Pages, and has a cheat sheet.

“Mobile sites are ranking higher in search, and AMP articles appear right at the top of search results, just under the paid search results. If you don’t have articles appearing in those results, you are losing traffic and impressions. Creating AMP articles is one of the easiest things you can do to get top search placement. Right now, AMP is still in its early days, so you won’t have much competition for these spots. However, that will soon change as more publishers understand the benefits of AMP and jump on board. To stay competitive, you will need to be strategic when selecting your keywords and must employ other SEO techniques to maintain that top position,” Ganot writes.

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

“Articles published through the AMP platform are able to load more quickly partially because they are simplified to the most important elements, such as the text and a few pictures. Though many interactive features won’t be supported with AMP, you can put as many text links into the content as you like. That means that you can front load links into your AMP articles to redirect your readers to other content on your site. You will get more views with AMP articles, and you can take advantage of that by getting more people onto your site, where you will offer them more interactive content and other features. You can also include links to your social media profiles, your email list and more. Think of your AMP article like the free download you offer email subscribers. It’s a way to get readers in the door to keep coming back to your site and boosting your stats. You can then use your on-site strategy to turn that traffic into conversions.”

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

Apple News: Are You Ready to Join?

Like Facebook, Apple is opening things up to a larger pool of publishers. While there have been some issues with the service, the company is assuring participants that any wrinkles will be ironed out. When you’re ready, Business2Community has some pointers.

“To get started, you’ll need an Apple ID to sign up for the News Publisher web app. Now, if you also want to monetize your content (and you do), you’ll need to enable iTunes connect with your developer ID. Don’t have a developer ID? – you should enroll in the developers program to get one. The developer program membership will cost you $99 a year, but you can’t monetize without it. Now just sell your soul to Apple (okay, not really) by signing the Apple News Content Agreement and provide your tax and banking information on iTunes Connect,” Eyal Katz writes.

“There are currently two ways to create Apple News format articles: the News Publisher web app and CMS plug-ins. If you want to create the JSON feed manually, Apple offers an extensive reference to it. But odds are, you’ll want to choose one of the CMS plugins supported by Apple, like Alley Interactive’s ‘Publish to Apple News’ for WordPress. The next step is setting up advertising. … You can add your own advertisers and get 100% of the earnings, or let iAd fill your inventory automatically (for which you get 70% of the CPC). Another cool thing is that Apple pays publishers 50% of the revenues from ads between articles in the feed. Pretty cool, right?”

What the Power of Magazine Platforms Means for Content Monetization

There’s a reason all of these tech companies and social media services are jumping on the magazine platforms train – it’s because publishers are producing better content than ever, and this is something to be proud of. Now, it’s time to parlay that into superb audience development, as reports

“With major technology leaders optimizing their content delivery, I think it’s safe to say that leading companies recognize the value of not just content, but more importantly, the consumption of it. Consumers want content, and these innovations allow them to digest it faster than ever with fast-loading, mobile optimized articles. Sounds like a win-win situation for us all,” Elaine Ip writes.

“Today, the question isn’t whether you’ve started content marketing in your organization; it’s how you’re improving your content marketing. With everything going your way and tech giants backing up your efforts, it’s time for you to step up your content and offer your buyers real value in more places. These recent innovations have given you an even louder voice, so use it for good – to engage and deliver value to your audience wherever they are.”

Are you maximizing magazine platforms? Tell us about your preferred magazine platforms in the comments!

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