21 Jun We Started Using Facebook Instant Articles: Here’s What We’ve Learned So Far
By Kendall Walters
Even if you haven’t heard of Instant Articles yet, it’s likely you’ve seen them.
Denoted by a lightning bolt icon on the image preview of articles on Facebook, Instant Articles are fast-loading versions of web stories that have been optimized for mobile. When users click on an Instant Article, they stay on Facebook to view the content, rather than following the link to another site.
On April 12 Facebook rolled out the feature to all publishers. That same day, we wrote a blog post about why we decided to try Facebook Instant Articles. In it, we promised that once we’d been using Instant Articles for awhile, we’d write a second post to let our readers know how the experiment went.
Some of you might be wondering what took so long.
The explanation is simple: it took us longer than we thought to get up and running with Instant Articles. We finally published our first one on June 7.
When we hit the “Publish” button and shared an Instant Article link in a Facebook post, we noticed a difference right away.
It was a post that we had originally published on our website and shared on Facebook several weeks prior. Compared to the previous post, in three days the Instant Articles post exploded. It saw a:
- 37 percent increase in reach
- 22 percent increase in shares
- 83 percent increase in Likes
- 57 percent increase in link clicks
Suffice to say, Instant Articles had our attention.
Facebook says that Instant Articles are not favored in the News Feed ranking. Facebook for Developers explains: “Instant Articles are ranked in News Feed by the same criteria that we use to rank standard articles on the mobile web. News Feed ranks stories based on a number of factors, including the amount people interact with them and how much time people spend reading them.”
However, Facebook has also stated that Instant Articles receive 20 percent more clicksand 30 percent more shares than other links. Additionally, Facebook says that people are 70 percent less likely to abandon an article “because they’re not stuck waiting for it to load.” View Full Article >>