Facebook finalises nine launch partners for its “Instant Articles” program

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Facebook has partnered with nine news publishers to roll out new feature dubbed “Instant Articles” which will allow them to publish news stories directly on to the social network’s mobile news feeds.

Previously the third-party links posted on Facebook directs users to the host site, adding additional time to the page-load and also in a way, shifting the user engagement onto the other site.

Facebook is hoping that with Instant Articles, all the content would load more or less immediately, and will keep users engaged on Facebook’s site. The social-networking giant claims that the new feature will improve the load times of news stories on its mobile app to as much as 10 times faster than most articles on the mobile web.

“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook,” said Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.

“Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”

The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild are Facebook’s initial partners in the program.

In order to allure publishers, Facebook is offering them to keep all the revenue from ads they sell themselves. If Facebook sold the ads, however, the social network would keep 30 percent of the revenue. The social networking giant will also let the news companies track data about the people reading the articles through comScore and other analytics tools.

Commenting on the partnership, BuzzFeed said “We are excited for the value this product can bring to our advertisers who get the full benefit of our platform and technology.”

Tony Danker, international director for Guardian News & Media, publisher of the Guardian and Observer, said “It is great to see Facebook trialling new ways for quality journalism to flourish on mobile.”

“The Guardian is keen to test how the new platform can provide an even more engaging experience for our readers.”

Facebook will begin hosting news and videos from popular websites starting Wednesday.