In a blog post, Facebook said that it created this new service because more and more people are getting their news updates from mobile devices these days. The company said that it wants to make this experience faster and richer on Facebook.
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“People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app. To date, however, these stories take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles, ” it read.
Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways. Users can zoom in to explore high-resolution photos by tilting their phones. They can watch auto-play videos come alive as they scroll through stories. Explore interactive maps, listen to audio captions, and even like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line.
Mark Thompson, President and CEO, The New York Times Company said, “The New York Times already has a significant and growing audience on Facebook. We’re participating in Instant Articles to explore ways of growing the number of Times users on Facebook, improving their experience of our journalism and deepening their engagement. We have a long tradition of meeting readers where they are and that means being available not just on our own sites, but on the social platforms frequented by many current and potential Times users.”
“It is great to see Facebook trialing new ways for quality journalism to flourish on mobile, ” said Tony Danker, International Director, Guardian News & Media. “The Guardian is keen to test how the new platform can provide an even more engaging experience for our readers. It is then vital that, over time, Instant Articles delivers recurring benefit for publishers, whose continued investment in original content underpins its success.”