Facebook’s Instant Articles – Yay or Nay?

Client Login Facebook’s Instant Articles – Yay or Nay? Instant Articles are a quick-loading news format, hosted on Facebook’s own servers, which open inside the Facebook app. They appear on your newsfeed with small lightening bolt icon alongside them and chances are that, even if you didn’t know what they were called, you have read some on Facebook. Instant Articles were trialled back in 2015 when a group of major publishers, including The New York Times, the BBC and The Guardian were among the guinea pigs. There was a great deal of anxiety about Instant Articles amongst news outlets who were concerned about ad revenue, content exclusivity, the fact that IAs open within Facebook and don’t send readers to the publisher’s website and an increasing dependence on Facebook for traffic in general. (I read recently that in 2015 just before IA’s launched The Times was already receiving around 15% of its traffic from Facebook, a figure which had doubled from the previous year). Facebook tried to assuage many of the concerns, promising publishers that they could keep their ad revenue and still publish the same content on their websites and IAs were rolled out to all publishers in April 2016. The main benefit of Instant Articles is that they load very quickly, in fact, Facebook claims up to 10 times faster than Facebook links which take users back to the publisher’s own website. Engagement stats look good too, with Facebook saying that people are 20% more likely to engage with Instant Articles, 70% less likely to abandon them and 30% more likely to share them. All good news for...

Facebook announces changes to News Feed

Client Login Facebook announces changes to News Feed Last week Facebook announced that it is changing its News Feed algorithm so that content posted by your friends and family will appear more prominently in your feed. Since Facebook launched News Feed back in 2006 there have been over a billion new users to the channel. We’re spending longer and longer on social media each day, checking out content not just from family and friends but also our favourite sports teams, retailers and brands, which means that every day there is far more posted on our News Feed than we can ever consume. Time Magazine has described it as ‘the most valuable billboard on earth’ and getting it spot on for everyone is an ongoing process for Facebook as they try to give us the right mix of updates from friends and public figures, publishers, businesses and community organisations we are connected to. (If you are interested in how Facebook actually do this, check out this article from Time Magazine) In an article last week, referring to its guiding News Feed values, Facebook explains that first and foremost, it wants you to see what you care about – your friends and family. They also want users to be both informed and entertained by the content they see and brands in particular should be mindful of this when creating content for Facebook. So, in what many are seeing as a blow to publishers (who have spent years building their audiences to in turn build traffic and revenue) expect to see more posts of babies, weddings, pets and less news. This update...