Facebook has decided that it will be allowing all publishers to publish content on Instant Articles. Previously, only the renowned publications like New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, Wired, etc. could publish content on Instant Articles.
Are using WordPress to manage your blog or website and to regularly publish and manage content? Then you belong to almost 25% of the websites on the Internet that are using WordPress as a blogging platform and as a CMS. Facebook obviously wouldn’t like to isolate such a big section of the Internet and in fact, it would like to make it easier for WordPress users to publish high quality content on Instant Articles.
Why publish content on Instant Articles?
The entire logic of using Instant Articles is that from your Facebook feed you don’t need to go to the publisher’s website. The articles, including images and videos, are instantly loaded. As you can see in this promo video, they are completely living, breathing articles. There is no gap between clicking a particular link and accessing the article and the video. All the videos embedded inside the articles start playing instantly (although I’m not sure how convenient it would be to access Instant Articles at workplace like this). This is a user’s perspective.
What about publishers? What is the benefit of publishing content on Instant Articles as a publisher? For example, why would I publish my content on Instant Articles? Right now it seems like a double-edged sword.
The entire purpose, from Facebook point-of-view, is to stop people from leaving the Facebook ecosystem. When people come across a link on their timeline, they either click it or they don’t click it. Sometimes they click it because they really want to access the link. Sometimes they don’t click it, either because the link is not important to them, or they simply don’t want to leave Facebook – it can become a hassle while checking your timeline. When it comes to going through the timeline and accessing individual articles, sometimes people prefer to remain on the Facebook Timeline. So according to Facebook, it’s a win-win. When you publish content using the Instant Articles format, people will need to leave their Facebook Timeline in order to read your article or view your video. It will be an integral part of the Facebook interface. How does it benefit you?
Suddenly people who are not leaving Facebook in order to access your content, will be accessing it because they will be able to do it from within the Facebook interface. Suddenly, people who were not accessing your content because they didn’t want to go through the hassle of leaving their Facebook timeline will have no problem clicking your link. They will find your content more appealing because it will be served in the Instant Articles format. Your content will load faster because it will be served in the Instant Articles format.
You can publish unique content for Instant Articles or you can re-publish existing content according to the Instant Articles format. The basic benefit of publishing your content on Instant Articles would be that people who are not leaving Facebook in order to access your content will now have no qualms.
How to publish Instant Articles with WordPress?
Coming back to WordPress. As mentioned above, it is the most widely used platform on the Internet, with almost 25% publishers using it. In order to enable you to use WordPress to create Instant Articles posts, Facebook is releasing an Instant Articles WordPress plug-in. Once Instant Articles becomes completely publicly available, you will be able to use this WordPress plug-in out-of-the-box and publish articles and blog posts in the Instant Articles format from within WordPress. Here are a few FAQs about the WordPress Instant Articles plug-in. It seems the plug-in isn’t available yet; maybe it will be available once you can publish your WordPress blog posts on Instant Articles.