Facebook’s Instant Articles are now available to all iPhone users following its launch in May this year. The public beta of the feature will be available for Android this week before a broad roll out by the end of the year.
Instant Articles that are present right inside the Facebook app for iPhone are highlighted with a lightning bolt icon on the top right corner. Facebook says that when you tap on the story it will load 10 times faster than a standard mobile web article. The social network claims that Instant Articles also provide a richer reading experience than standard mobile web articles that make the content more fluid, interactive and immersive. Instant articles will also include a suite of features such as interactive maps, image zoom, autoplay videos and audio captions.
When a friend or publisher shares a link on Facebook, the enhanced experience is displayed automatically if an Instant Article version is available. Facebook said it plans to publish 1,000 articles per day through partnerships with magazines, websites and daily newspapers. Publishers that are participating right now include The New York Times, National Geographic, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian, MTV, BBC News, The Washington Post, and others. Additional partners will be added in the future including Brit + Co., Refinery 29, CBS News, Entertainment Weekly, NBA, Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, and a host of others.
News curation has become a new buzz word in the social media ecosystem these days. Earlier this month, Google unveiled Accelerated Mobile Pages” for faster mobile web while micro blogging site Twitter rolled out Moments curation tool to track live events.