According to Facebook, Instant Articles make for a “faster, more beautiful reading experience” - let’s unpack this.
Every day almost a billion people will click on Facebook to find out what is going on in the world - how crazy is that! One billion! This makes Facebook the perfect platform to get your content seen but there are often issues with this - including super slow loading times - something Facebook is working on to resolve.
Facebook presents its solution to slow loading times in its latest feature, Instant Articles. Facebook Instant Articles (FBIA) have recently been rolled out, swiftly followed by the launch of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
The Instant Articles features you will love..
- Fast loading - instant means instant - the article loads in seconds. Rich media and all. The official line is 10 times faster, we believe them.
- Format - de-cluttered pages, simple design with the content you want to see. No distractions and mis-matched images and text. Customised typeface, colour and layout.
- Images - just tap the picture to enlarge and move from side to side either with your finger or by tilting the screen itself, no lumpy loading times with the preloaded content and cached media files.
- Audio Captions - short descriptions can be attached to the images, just tap on the speaker to hear the author add a little context in their own words.
- Video Auto Plays - the growing love of video is extended to the instant articles, autoplay creates a synergy with the text, making your content a more immersive and refined experience.
- Maps - animated and interactive, transport you around the globe, allowing you to explore the landscape by zooming into the exact location where the images were captured.
- Ads - you can take your ads with you into the article. Enabling a subtle link and business element to a community driven post. Hitting both brand and potentially sales objectives and in this comfortable environment allowing each angle to work together communicating your brand message.
- Analytics - You can bring your existing analytics with you to track the response to your articles the way you always have.
Susan Goldberg of National Geographic Magazine and Digital sums up the experience of FBIA - “a layering of information” - the perfect way to tell your story and connect with your audience. Sharing experiences as well as information has just become much easier.
Building Your Brand
Becoming a primary resource for content, the instant articles are the perfect place to build your brand, focussing on good content developing a community of returning customers. It is less important to push people to your website and ever more important to feed them with niche, relevant information, allowing them to explore your brand ideas and product more organically. Facebook is a community platform after all - if you are not all about your community then perhaps you should ask yourself - What am I doing here?
“Our metric of success has always been sharing and engagement. You can’t trick someone into sharing something, you have to make really good stuff that really makes people feel something”
- Summer Anne Burton, Editorial Director of BuzzFeed Distributed
Why is this good for your SEO?
Driving traffic to your website is not essential if the audience is being engaged by the content that you are housing on the social platforms. Building this content offering and creating a community and loyal customer base within the social platforms will become ever more important. These social platforms will work in unison with each other and your website to build your brand profile, awareness and product offering - developing your brand footprint across the web.
Other examples -
- Facebook Canvas Ads - the perfect platform for storytelling and advertising before you leave Facebook. - Link to https://canvas.facebook.com/
- Etsy & Pattern - Many sellers on Etsy work on the platform but also their own websites, Etsy have just introduced Pattern, a website builder for its sellers. To keep it all in-house.
Facebook's quest - STAY WITH US!
Facebook is slowly taking over, there’s no denying it (though Google is putting up a good fight). Facebook have used these extra levels - Instant Articles and Canavs ads - to give another stepping stone before you reach an external website. Facebook is delivering the content you want to see, the article, the collection, the shop, the competition and now controlling the adverts. You should never need to leave.. And why would you want to?