Instant Articles are the fast loading news/article pieces on the Facebook mobile platform stamped by lightning icon to differentiate them from non instant loading articles. In fact, if even this blog subscribes to the same Facebook service for our Facebook readers. While they’re good at being speedy but they come without limitations especially to the publishers.
Unlike articles accessed directly from the publisher’s website, on which the publisher can serve ads of his/her own choosing to the reader, that task is delegated to Facebook when it comes to Instant Articles on top of the articles being free to access to all and the sundry.
The loss of this control cuts into the bottom line of the news publishers and thus they lose out on would be potential revenue. This especially hurts media houses that serve a subscription based model to their readers because not until this, they couldn’t apply the same on Facebook Instant Articles.
News publishers in the US under the News Media Alliance had petitioned the US Congress over Facebook’s practises and Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) that serve a similar purpose only that this happens over the web, in google search results if we are to be exact.
Either party needs the other since Facebook is fast becoming a news source to its over a billion users. The publishers need the users while Facebook needs their content to retain the users. The blue social network is now said to be testing a feature that will allow it introduce a subscription based system on its Instant Articles according to The Street in order to appease publishers.
Whereas Instant Articles are free to access mostly served to the reader using Facebook’s data mining algorithms that one is served tailored pieces, the reader couldn’t cough a single dime to access them. This is set to change if the above information is implemented even though either party is keeping mum about any possible revenue sharing agreement.
The new subscription system will be based on a premium metered model that might give you a few pieces for free and continued perusal will require the reader to input credit details. Until then, enjoy the pieces while they are still free.