Instant articles are cutdown (free from cluttered ads) Facebook hosted articles from partner publishers that the social giant asserts that load 10 times faster than conventional web articles. They’re marked with a lightning bolt logo at the top right corner in the main Facebook news feed.
They can only be found in Facebook’s main iOS and Android apps but today’s announcement will see them finding their way to Facebook Messenger. Messenger boosts of 900 million users and over the time has evolved from just being the main Facebook chatting companion to now; a platform over which developers can integrate their services to like bots, P2P payments among other things some of which are still in the pipeline.
Instant articles links shared in within Messenger bearing the lightning logo in the same position as is the case in the main app as a differentiation, will now load within the app and will have the same advantages of loading 10 times faster than non instant articles that require an external browser to load. The feature as of now is available for Android folks but will roll-out to iOS later in the coming weeks.
While a handful (If any) Ugandan publishers have shied away from using instart articles, that are now available and supported by WordPress,some big Western publishers have embraced the initiative given Facebook has an acclaimed a position of being one of the biggest traffic referrers to their websites. So hosting a piece of their content on Facebook servers with an agreed revenue split makes sense.
As for Facebook, it gains by retaining users that they spend a longer time using its app whom they feed with ads while mining their data. The data is essential for targeted ads given the particulars provided to Facebook freely can be used to lure advertisers who keep Facebook’s pockets fed.