Have you heard about Facebook’s new Instant Articles feature? In a nutshell, this new release allows any publisher to create fast articles on Facebook to increase reader engagement.
But is it worth the effort or not?
To find out the answer, let’s go over some of the major pros and cons it has to offer.
Publishers can access and manage their Facebook Instant Articles easily. No one else can manipulate these posts. The same articles can be present both on their site and Facebook with no glitch.
Today, people are always connected to the online environment via smartphone. Reading the latest news and posts in their news feed has become a habit.
With Facebook’s new feature, publishers can leverage on this reality and get more readers.
Instant articles bring in more visitors who are highly devoted to mobile usage, mainly because it offers a more immersive experience.
The multimedia features make these posts indisputably attractive. Facebook provides top quality image display enhanced by:
These extra features enhance the already mobile-friendly experience.
Facebook Instant Articles have a loading speed that’s ten times faster than standard mobile web articles.
Thus, they lower the chance of readers abandoning the article. In turn, the engagement rate goes up. This is especially useful for new and less reputable publishers.
The biggest concern raised by instant articles is their impact on the editor’s website traffic rate. More users will start to read their posts directly through Facebook. Consequently, the number of users who access the publisher’s website may decline.
Since day one, some publishers showed limited enthusiasm for Facebook Instant Articles. Besides the traffic issue, another strong argument was their lack of access to visitor’s data. By posting through Facebook, the ability to track readers is restricted. So is the possibility to control the article’s driven revenues.
Publishers who aim to get subscribers see Instant Articles as a possible threat. The feature limits their ability to get people to their website. This translates into fewer subscriptions and lower conversion rates.
Like every novelty, Facebook Instant Articles give way to a series of concerns. Reputable and small publishers alike are worried about the possible changes that might occur over time.
For now, Facebook’s sole purpose seems to be creating a better reading experience for their mobile audience. However, things might change in the future. Most content creators share this concern.
Facebook’s policy and control could shift towards more profitable strategies.
Facebook Instant Articles are still relatively new. Doubt and excitement are equally frequent reactions. While the new feature works well for certain publishers, it can have reverse effects in the case of others.
Now that you know more about both the pros and the cons, you are better equipped to decide if it is worth giving a shot or not.