Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Facebook's Instant Articles Wants To Replace All Your New Sources

Back in the day, people used to get their news from things called newspapers. Then the television was invented and people, while still getting most of their news from newspapers, started to get their news from news reporters on TV. Then the internet came along and people starting getting their news online. Well, now Facebook wants to be your new source of all things news.

The social media platform is launching its Instant Articles features for its mobile app to more users, which will allow them to browse headlines, read articles, and watch news videos directly on their smartphones, according to the company.

Instant Articles was released in a limited capacity five months ago and is designed specifically for Facebook's mobile readers. According to Facebook, the features loads news stories 10x faster than a standard website and also uses Facebook's advertising software, promising faster loading and more attractive layouts.

According to Manager of the Instant Articles Team Chris Cox, "The most important thing we pay attention to is providing daily value. Daily use is something we care about." Cox was recently at The Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive conference in Southern California.

Instant Articles is just the most recent venture by Facebook to be in every facet of our lives. Facebook has already replaced things like photo albums, blogs, and instant messenger and now it is ready to replace you news services by giving you instant access to news wherever you are. Facebook has already said that it plans to publish 1,000 articles per day via partnerships with magazines, websites, and daily newspapers, including National Geographic, Time, USA Today, and CNET.

Facebook also announced that the Instant Articles feature now works with all Apple iPhones and that they are running a public test of the feature on phones that use Google's Android operating system. The stories are published on your News Feed in the Facebook app and when you tap on them, the stories fill the screen almost instantly. The feature doesn't require you to check outside news sources, like The New York Times, though Facebook believes that this makes the service more appealing.

Facebook also says that Instant Articles is part of a years-long effort to revitalize the service to work better with mobile devices and in more situations. There are currently 1.31 billion people using the Facebook app at least once per month so Facebook is trying to ensure that it works anywhere in the world, even over poor wireless connections and on lower-end smartphones. To do this, Facebook made the app use less data and work faster.

The more people that use the app, the more ads Facebook will be able to show you. This means more money. Facebook is the second-largest internet destination for advertising revenue, generating over 18% of the ad dollars spent online last year. That number is expected to increase to more than 20% by 2017. Cox didn't elaborate on how many Instant Articles are being read or shared by users.

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