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Facebook Instant Articles

What is Instant Articles?

Instant Articles is a tool for news publishers to distribute fast, interactive articles to their readers in the Facebook app.

How do Instant Articles work?
Rather than loading an article using a web browser, which takes over 8 seconds on average, Instant Articles load using the same fast tools we use to load photos and videos in the Facebook app allowing articles to load as much as 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles. Beyond just speed, Instant Articles allow publishers to provide the same high quality, fluid experience and interactivity that people expect from a mobile app. Instant Articles has been designed with extensive feedback from news publishers. Publishers can serve their own ads and keep that revenue, track readership in real-time and with comScore, and customize the presentation of articles to match their brand.
Will Instant Articles be required for publishers on Facebook moving forward?
No. Publishers have the option to participate in the Instant Articles program. Participating publishers retain full control of their content and publishing schedule, including how much to publish to Facebook. Standard article links will remain accessible from Facebook via the standard mobile browser for publishers that decline to participate. Our expectation is that people on Facebook will appreciate the enhanced accessibility of Instant Articles content, while publishers will see greater engagement for their content as a result.
Why would publishers want to participate in Instant Articles?
There are several benefits for publishers. Faster article loading allows readers to get to content as quickly as possible. Facebook’s experience with other media formats, such as auto-play video, has been that more rapid content loading generates increased content consumption and sharing. We believe Instant Articles will help publishers grow their businesses on Facebook.
Do publishers need to create original content for Facebook?
No. Instant Articles is simply a faster, mobile-optimized way to publish and distribute stories on Facebook, and it supports automated content syndication using standards like HTML and RSS. Content published as Instant Articles will also be published on the publishers’ websites.
How much effort is required for publishers to reconfigure their content for Instant Articles?
It’s a straightforward process for publishers to publish their articles in the Instant Article format because it uses HTML and RSS, standard ways for authoring articles on the web. Facebook translates articles authored for the web in HTML into the Instant Articles format. We also provide tools for publishers to preview articles prior to publication and make sure they display as they intended. Publishers who wish to embrace new elements like interactive maps and auto-play videos can use simple, well-documented HTML tags to enhance their content with rich-media features.
What types of articles work best for this format?
Instant Articles work for any type of article, from daily spot-news coverage to in-depth, longform features.
Do Instant Articles change how publishers or people share on Facebook?
No. Nothing about link-sharing changes. Publishers and readers link to articles just as they always have; there is no need to link or post an Instant Article differently. Each Instant Article is associated with a link, so when a friend or page shares a link in News Feed, readers see the Instant Article version if it is available.
Are Instant Articles available to everyone on Facebook?
For the moment, Instant Articles are only available to people who use Facebook’s iPhone app.
What happens if a reader is not on a device that supports Instant Articles?
People on a desktop computer or other device that doesn’t support Instant Articles will continue to link to the mobile web version of the article.
How will Instant Articles influence referral traffic?
Instant Articles display within the Facebook app, so readers no longer redirect to the publisher’s website. Facebook worked with publishers and comScore to enable Instant Articles views in Facebook’s app to count as traffic to the original publisher, just as they do on the mobile web.
Can publishers sell their own advertising on Instant Articles?
Yes. Publishers can sell in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.
How do publishers enroll to use Instant Articles?
Facebook is currently testing Instant Articles with a small set of publishers. The Instant Articles program will expand to more publishers in the future. If would like to participate, please tell us about yourself and we’ll keep you updated.


What is the Accelerated Mobile Pages project?

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”) Project is an open source initiative that came out of discussions between publishers and technology companies about the need to improve the entire mobile content ecosystem for everyone — publishers, consumer platforms, creators, and users.

Today, the expectation is that content should load super fast and be easy to explore. The reality is that content can take several seconds to load, or, because the user abandons the slow page, never fully loads at all. Accelerated Mobile Pages are web pages designed to load instantaneously — they are a step towards a better mobile web for all.

What are the benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Speed matters and instant is the ideal. Research shows that the bounce rate can be as high as 58% for web pages that take nearly ten seconds to load. Using the AMP format will make it far more compelling for people to consume and engage with more content. But this isn’t just about speed and performance. We also want to promote enhanced distribution so that publishers can take advantage of the open web’s potential for their content to appear everywhere quickly — across all platforms and apps — which can lead to more revenue via ads and subscriptions.

How do Accelerated Mobile Pages work?

Accelerated Mobile Pages are just like any other HTML page, but with a limited set of allowed technical functionality that is defined and governed by the open source AMP spec. Just like all web pages, Accelerated Mobile Pages will load in any modern browser or app webview. AMP files take advantage of various technical and architectural approaches that prioritize speed to provide a faster experience for users. The goal is not to homogenize how content looks and feels, but instead to build a more common technical core between pages that speeds up load times.

In addition, AMP files can be cached in the cloud in order to reduce the time content takes to get a user’s mobile device. Under this type of framework, publishers continue to control their content, but platforms can easily cache or mirror the content for optimal delivery speed users. Google has stated that it will provide a cache that can be used by anyone at no cost, though the cache (Google’s or otherwise) is not required. Other companies may build their own cache as well.

In summary, the goal is that that the combination of limited technical functionality with a distribution system built around caching will lead to better performing pages, and increased audience development for publishers.

Why does the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project take an open source approach?

The initial companies involved in this early preview of the project want to make the mobile web work better for all — not just for one platform, one set of technologies, or one set of publishers. Making the project open source enables people to share and contribute their ideas and code for making the mobile web fast. This preview is just the beginning of that journey and we look forward to other publishers and technology companies joining along the way.

When will Accelerated Mobile Pages launch and what is the rollout plan?

On October 7th, 2015, the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project announced the release of the initial technical specification which will appear on GitHub, a broadly used repository for open-source content. We are also providing an early developer demo of what a faster mobile web can look and feel like with Accelerated Mobile Pages. More features and functionality will be added over the coming weeks, including functional support for subscription models as well as vendor support for advertising functionality. As more of this functionality becomes commonly available, we hope to see more and more major consumer platforms integrating AMP pages into their apps and services.

Who will be able to use Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The project is open to all players in the ecosystem – publishers, consumer platforms, and creators. In this early stage of the project, a group of publishers and platforms have come together to demonstrate how Accelerated Mobile Pages can transform the mobile web experience. They include platforms like Twitter and Google, tech players like ChartBeat and WordPress.com and publishers like Vox, The New York Times, The Guardian and Globo.

What type of content will work best using Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The goal is for all published content, from news stories to videos and from blogs to photographs and GIFs, to work using Accelerated Mobile Pages.

As a publisher, will making my content work for Accelerated Mobile Pages entail more work?

In short, not much. Since “AMP HTML” is built entirely out of existing web technologies, the development process mirrors the one publishers are already using today. Publishers can familiarize themselves with the AMP HTML specification on GitHub. For those used to the current process, we don’t expect a significant learning curve.

How can a publisher get content into AMP HTML?

Publishers and Content Management System (CMS) providers can develop an integration with their CMS to generate AMP content. We hope that all content management systems will add support for AMP HTML pages. For example, WordPress.com has announced that it will integrate the AMP framework. In addition to WordPress.com, we hope other commercial CMS providers will support the project in the weeks and months to come.

How can a consumer platform get involved in Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The project is open to all players, and existing members of the project are very enthusiastic to engage with consumer platforms on the initiative. Google will also open its cache for use for free by anyone, including to consumer platforms that would like to display AMP content in their environment.

How can an advertising or technology vendor get involved in Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Though we cannot guarantee that all vendor technology will function perfectly inside AMP files, over time we expect to release new functionality in the specification that will make it easier for your technology to integrate with the format.

How will advertising work on Accelerated Mobile Pages?

A goal of the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is to ensure effective ad monetization on the mobile web while embracing a user-centric approach. With that context, the objective is to provide support for a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies in Accelerated Mobile Pages. As part of that, those involved with the project are also engaged in crafting Sustainable Ad Practices to insure that ads in AMP files are fast, safe, compelling and effective for users.

Will publishers be able to sell their own ad inventory?

Yes, as with their existing websites, publishers control their ad inventory and how they sell it.

How will subscriptions and paywalls work with Accelerated Mobile Pages?

It is a core objective of the Accelerated Mobile Pages project to support subscriptions and paywalls. Publishers and technologists will work together to build the best solutions for readers and publishers.

How are analytics being handled in this AMP format?

Ensuring publishers are able to get robust analytics insight is a core design goal for the project. While the analytics support in the demo release is very limited, the spec is expected to have support for collection of analytics information, and integrating with 3rd party systems without compromising the AMP file speed or size. Chartbeat and Parse.ly, two publisher analytics providers, are participants in the project.

Do publishers receive credit for the traffic from a measurement perspective?

Yes, an AMP file is the same as the rest of your site – this space is the publisher’s canvas.