Are Facebook Instant Articles Changing the Way We Receive Information?

Logan Scheps | @Logan_Scheps

In a world where smartphone users expect instant information at the tap of a button, the extra time is takes for the Facebook mobile app to load articles can be irksome. These slow speeds were potentially detrimental to the social media giant’s growth, so Facebook released Instant Articles in an attempt to exterminate the loading bar.

Instant Articles were designed with the intent to improve reader experience on mobile devices by giving news sites another platform for publishing long-form content that loads immediately. BBC, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, The New York Times and many others can post articles directly to Facebook.

Along with the new speed at which readers can access articles, the upgrade — released May 13 — has made the content more interactive to further engage with readers, thereby increasing the duration of time they spend on the site. Other new features include audio captions, an expanded zoom feature, the ability to explore images by tilting your phone, and interactive maps, which show a worldview of the event featured in the article.

These features and the success of Instant Articles improve the way mobile users consume news and could change the way they view Facebook as a social media platform. While the upgrade clearly benefits the users, it also lends a new tool for brands, news sites and other content-producing companies to connect with readers more directly and in a more personalized manner. Since the release, Instant Articles have proven to be beneficial for the social media site, and the efficiency of mobile access to information has increased.

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