Everyone loves a great story, especially ones full of emotion and interesting facts. Throw in details of a fascinating person’s life and you have a real page turner. But, how do you translate this great story into an equally vivid and interactive article? Facebook’s Instant Articles is a great way to create engaging and vibrant content. Big wigs like the New York Times, National Geographic, and Buzzfeed have hopped on the Instant Article bandwagon, making it worth examining this new platform to discover exactly what it has to offer.
What is an Instant Article?
Facebook has taken a different approach to hosting editorial pieces online, by taking your standard article and making it come alive through a visually dynamic and engaging experience. Today, most companies provided links from their Facebook pages to external sites for users to share and like. What makes the new Instant Articles unique is that Facebook will host your articles, like they do your photos and videos. They will be the host, but your brand is still the main attraction. You can customize your typeface, colours and layouts, but Instant Article will speed up the load times of your images, video and other media. This one change makes for a more engaging and incredible storytelling experience.
The following are 6 main features of Instant Articles that will transform an average article into amazing, premium interactive content:
Leverages existing HTML tools and Markup
Facebook’s additional markup works cleanly within regular pages while providing a superior experience on Facebook. It works with RSS feeds too.
Adds multiple videos to your content
Facebook’s native video player takes over and pushes the video out from Facebook, boosting download speeds up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles, for a smooth desktop-like experience on your mobile device. Videos will auto-play videos seamlessly adding to the full, engaging experience.
Adds large images
Instant Article recreates the gatefold digitally, seamlessly marrying editorial and mobile. Images are managed by Facebook’s app to allow the user to tilt their phone side to side to reveal more of the full screen image.
Often, stories are rooted in a particular geographic location. Place a map to let readers know about the local points of interest. The technology animates the map to make the viewer feel like they are floating above with the ultimate birds-eye-view. You can also tap on an image and zoom into a map of where the image was taken, adding another layer of information to add to the whole experience.
Includes Embedded Audio captions
Have an interesting clip from the author or from an interview? Instant Article will let you listen while you read the article or view an image.
Controls your content, ads and analytics
Instant Articles still provide control of content, in-content ads (and other paid ads) or calls to action as well as analytics. You stay in control of your brand by preserving the styles you set via the Instant Article framework.
In the battle for spectacular content, take every chance to get an edge above competitors. Through the use of Facebook instant Articles you can create vivid, lively and engaging content that will capture more likes, shares and long form reads of your articles.