In today’s world, speed is important. Websites need to have quick loading speeds if they want good traffic. The only exceptions are websites that are at the top of their game; websites whose visitors absolutely need them, like Facebook or Gmail!
So you have articles. Good content. People will love it. But no matter how good your content is, if your website/blog takes too long to load, people will move on. You’d lose a lot of potential traffic. One way to fix this would be to work on making your website load faster. But Facebook offers you a better solution. Just make an Instant Article!
What is an Instant Article?
An Instant Article is similar to an AMP website. It is an HTML document that loads instantaneously on Facebook. It allows you to publish articles that render fast on mobile devices. Instant Articles load 3 times faster than your average web article. This obviously means lower bounce rates and better engagement rates. 75 of the top 100 most clicked domains on Facebook use Instant Articles. FB users also spend approximately 30% more time with Instant Articles than mobile articles.
Facebook has an inbuilt style editor tool which you can use to customize your instant pages and make it look how you want to. The style editor is easy to use. You can also use the Pages Manager App to preview your Instant Articles before making them live.
What do you need before starting?
- You’ll obviously need a Facebook page to set up Instant Articles on Facebook.
- You also need to give people working on Instant Articles roles on the Page.
- To create Instant Articles, Facebook needs a link to your web article. Facebook hosts these articles for you, so it is necessary to have a website or a blog of your own.
- To properly use Instant Articles you need to verify you own your website/blog. For this you’ll need access to your site’s HTML code; its <head> tag.
- You’ll need a high-resolution logo to use with your Instant Article.
- Some experience with XML, HTML and RSS feeds can help you create Instant Pages. There are third party plugins that make this easier as well.
Before going live, you also need to submit ten articles for review. This is to ensure that readers have the best experience with the Instant Articles you create. It may take at least 10 days or more for Facebook to complete the review. Make sure your content complies with Facebook’s content guidelines. Facebook checks for missing or broken embeds in your articles. All articles must also be completed. Incomplete or partial articles shall be rejected. Make sure all the text and media renders.
You can monetize Instant Articles through ads, Audience Network, and branded content. Ad formats like native, interstitial, banner, in-stream video, rewarded video, playables are all available.
How to create Instant Articles?
There are three methods to convert your articles to Instant Articles:
- If coding isn’t your thing, and if you use a custom CMS, you can use third-party plugins. For WordPress, there are many third-party plugins available.
- Instant Articles API: Manage articles, and receive alerts instantaneously on your custom CMS.
- RSS feed: You can use an RSS feed to automatically upload instant articles. Facebook pulls articles from your feed many times every hour.
Some important points to be remembered
Articles should be formatted in Instant Articles markup if they are to be distributed via RSS or API. Whenever people view your articles on supported devices, it will be automatically rendered as an instant article.
Instant Articles are created with HTML, similar to standard web publishing. CSS is not supported for styling.
Create an Instant Article version of your article each time. People on Instant Article enabled devices will see your articles as an Instant Article whenever they discover it on Facebook. Publishing an Instant Article does not create a post on Facebook. It can be viewed from the Instant Article Library associated with your page.
Instant Articles give your readers access to all your articles, with remarkable loading speeds. All you need to do is create great content. Although, if you’re just starting out, it might be difficult to get any organic visitors. You may need to spend money on boosting your posts. If it comes to this, give us a call!