Growing up, my parents always told me how good my generation had it vs. when they were younger. They did not have smart phones (or cell phones for that matter), Internet, Netflix, an ‘on demand’ button…the list could go on. My generation has grown up with an increasing expectation of instant gratification. If our needs or wants are not fulfilled in a certain amount of time, we will move on or find a faster way to obtain it. Facebook (and publishers) understand this and this was the catalyst for developing and introducing Instant Articles on May 12th.
In an article by Facebook Product Manager Michael Reckhow, Facebook found that news stories on the mobile app can take up to eight seconds to load and is the slowest loading content type on their platform. With Instant Articles, the very same content will load immediately (hence the name). Additionally, the articles will immerse users in an interactive environment that will bring the content to life with rich pictures, auto-play feature videos and audio.
So what does this introduction mean for advertisers? Initially, Facebook will be partnering with select launch partners including BuzzFeed, National Geographic and The New York Times. Facebook is providing these publishers with full control over their content and the ads that go along with them. In the introduction article, it mentions publishers can manage and sell ad inventory in the articles or let Facebook sell the unsold inventory through the Audience Network. Buzzfeed is looking to utilize Instant Articles as a way to extend their native ads offering. Advertisers will have the opportunity to run sponsored content with Buzzfeed in the same way as desktop and would be served through DFP.
There are many things to love about the new Instant Articles as it offers new territory for mobile journalism and content. Facebook will be monitoring feedback as it rolls out to users during the next few months.