Businesses and publishers everywhere – if you wanted to participate in Facebook Instant Articles, which opens to all publishers on April 12th, but weren’t sure how to set it up, we have excellent news for you. WordPress has just launched a special Instant Articles plugin that will allow WordPress-based publishers to participate in the platform, with as little as 30 seconds in setup time. This little piece of technology will help you reach a wider audience with your content, and even make money from advertisements.
Facebook Instant Articles Background
Facebook Instant Articles officially launched on May 12, 2015. The social media giant had already been a go-to website for networking and marketing, and the Instant Articles feature was an attempt to elevate its status in the media publishing realm. With Instant Articles, publishers could publish their full-length content directly on Facebook – and then Facebook mobile users could access that content without ever having to leave the app.
In the beginning, only certain launch partners were selected to use the platform, including the New York Times, National Geographic and BuzzFeed. However, Facebook has decided to roll out Instant Articles to ALL publishers on April 12, 2016. That means any business or entrepreneur with a blog can participate on the platform.
In past articles, Facebook has said that it is a straightforward setup process to get started publishing on Instant Articles. Using your existing Content Management System plus an RSS feed with HTML5 markup, you can create Instant Articles that conform to Facebook’s formatting, content and community standards.
There was a collective groan amongst the non-tech savvy – clearly Instant Articles was not a platform for everyone.
The WordPress Instant Articles Plugin
The WordPress Instant Articles plugin is a joint venture between Facebook and Automattic (the parent company of WordPress.com). It is designed to make it easier for publishers of any size to participate in the Instant Articles platform. It is a free plugin, and it has already been beta tested by a small group of WordPress publishers. It is available at GitHub right now, but on April 12 it will be available in the WordPress plugin directory. At that time, you will be able to search for the plugin and download it right from your WordPress dashboard.
The plugin will set you up for Instant Articles in as little as 30 seconds. By activating the Instant Articles plugin, you will generate a feed of Instant Articles-compliant posts – for example; the plugin will recognize the images in your article and adjust them, so they show up properly when viewed by mobile users on the Instant Articles app. The plugin also supports additional elements for those who want to customize their publications.
In addition to publishing your content, Instant Articles will also allow you to generate revenue from ads. The ad network is called Facebook Audience Network, and publishers who decide to join will receive 70 percent of the revenue generated by the sale and placement of ads within their articles.
Facebook Instant Articles is not for everyone. To be clear, mobile users who find you on the Facebook app will be able to read your content WITHOUT going to your website. That said, it could be a clever way to increase visibility for your brand and to gain followers and customers. The Instant Articles plugin will make it possible for any business with a blog to easily participate in the platform. If you run a WordPress-based blog, you have the opportunity to jump on this trend at the very beginning.