Facebook is certainly pushing to become the hub for more and more online content. For a few months they were testing a new program called Instant Articles and they rolled to out to all page publishers on April 15, 2016.
First, let’s discuss Instant Articles and how it functions and then we can talk about how publishers can use it. When someone attempt to read your content on a mobile device, it can be a frustrating experience. The content may not be optimized for mobile. It could be a large amount of data to download. Plus it is often fairly slow. In many cases, all of these apply.
With Facebook Instant Articles, a version of content optimized for mobile is stored and served by Facebook. It loads really fast and gives readers a great experience. One initial downside for publishers is that readers are not coming to their site to view the content. Facebook has built in the ability to monetize the content with advertising and it makes sharing the content really easy. Ideally this more than makes up for losing direct Web site traffic.
For publishers on WordPress, Facebook teamed up with Automattic (developers of WordPress) to create the Instant Articles for WP plugin. It is free and makes it easier to get blog posts and/or site pages converted to a format perfect for Facebook.
While it does make it easier, the plugin still has a lot of flaws to correct before it is ready for prime time. We used it to prep Graphics Unleashed Blog posts and we were rejected twice for formatting errors caused by the plugin. We were finally approved on the third try. Many users of the plugin are hoping it will be greatly improved in the near future.
There are a couple of other requirement needed. You must have a page on Facebook. We’re not talking about a personal profile but a business page. If you don’t have one yet, read Create a Facebook Page for Biz, Brand, Cause and More. You’ll also need to install the Pages Manager app on your mobile device.
Using Facebook Instant Articles does not automatically publish new posts on your Facebook page. But if you post a link and that link is clicked on a mobile device, the reader will be taken to the Instant Articles optimized version of the page/post.