Facebook instant articles – initial impacts and potential ramifications


Facebook’s instant articles, the new tool allowing publishers to post directly from content management systems, promises an ‘incredibly fast and immersive reading experience’. Preliminary findings have shown that, on average, instant articles experience 20% higher readership with users also being 70% less likely to abandon and 30% more likely to share the article, compared with mobile web articles. As it stands, more than 1000 publishers, including Buzzfeed and National Geographic, have adopted the technology.

Our take

While early findings certainly paint a positive picture, engagement metrics are only half of the story. With Facebook shifting content consumption in-platform, Instant Articles have the potential to decrease publisher traffic and site engagement. This, in turn, could affect ad revenue and SEO rankings as well as creating barriers to meaningful data capture. Instead of abandoning landing pages, publishers should instead learn from Instant Articles and work towards faster load times, more intuitive navigation and mobile-first UX.

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The Wrap is a fortnightly review of the latest trends and technologies from around the globe.

In a constantly evolving marketplace, we identify the best new technologies, campaigns and consumer behaviours and cast The Media Store lens over their practical application and efficacy, to ensure we and our clients remain at the forefront of the news.