After rolling out Instant Articles to a tiny subset of its 1.3 billion active user base back in May of this year, the social networking leader Facebook today said these quick-loading articles are available to all users of its mobile application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Thousands of Instant Articles, each denoted with a lightning bolt in the top right corner of the News Feed story, will be available at launch and more will be added on a regular basis. Facebook claims Instant Articles load up to ten times faster than a standard mobile web article.
If you’ve ever used Facebook’s US-only Paper app, you have a pretty good idea of the polish provided by Instant Articles and their support for rich media such as photos and video and other embeddable content types like multitouch maps and more.
What’s more, the Paper app’s features like tilt-to-pan photos, auto-play video, embedded audio captions and more are now part of Instant Articles, too.
When someone shares a link on Facebook, the platform will automatically display an enhanced experience if an Instant Article version is available. “Instant Articles are simply the articles already in your Facebook News Feed, made faster and more beautiful,” said Facebook.
Based on their limited beta-test of Instant Articles with a small group of people on Facebook for iPhone, the company has noticed that the enhanced experience results in more shared Instant Articles compared to their standard web counterparts.
Some examples of Instant Articles include:
- Instant Articles from NBC News feature autoplay videos that come to life and begin automatically as readers scroll through the story.
- The Atlantic’s photo blog in Instant Articles lets you zoom in and explore the details of high-resolution photos just by tilting your phone.
- Readers can engage more deeply with BuzzFeed’s Instant Articles by liking and commenting on individual photos and videos throughout the story.
- Beautiful photo galleries in Instant Articles from The New York Times are seamless to swipe through.
- National Geographic’s Instant Articles let readers explore where the story happened with geo-tagged images that open interactive maps.
More publishers will be jumping on the Instant Articles bandwagon in the next few weeks, including Billboard, Billy Penn, The Blaze, Bleacher Report, Breitbart, Brit + Co, Business Insider, Bustle, CBS News, CBS Sports, CNET, Complex, Country Living, Cracked, Daily Dot, E! News, Elite Daily, Entertainment Weekly, Gannett, Good Housekeeping, Fox Sports, Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood Life, Hollywood Reporter, IJ Review, Little Things, Mashable, Mental Floss, mindbodygreen, MLB, MoviePilot, NBA, NY Post, The Onion, Opposing Views, People, Pop Sugar, Rare, Refinery 29, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, TIME, Uproxx, US Magazine, USA Today, Variety, The Verge and The Weather Channel.
Instant Articles for Android will launch later this year. To learn more about Instant Articles, go to Facebook’s micro-site.