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...

Your Club Your Lions – From grassroots rugby to the British & Irish Lions

Client Login Your Club Your Lions – From grassroots rugby to the British & Irish Lions Have you been watching the British & Irish Lions in action over the past few weeks? Have you ever wondered where it all started for these players at the very pinnacle of their rugby careers? Sotic, who have been partnering with the Lions on digital since before the 2009 Tour to South Africa, are delighted to have been involved in the Your Club Your Lions project. An online library of more than 800 players, Your Club Your Lions is a portal which plots every single rugby club to have had a hand in producing a British & Irish Lion, going right back to the very first Tour in 1888. British & Irish Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland told lionsrugby.com; “The Lions is unique and when you look at this map, it is just one more example of what makes it so special. “It’s great to be able to see where all the Lions have come from and to recognise the clubs and, by association, all the unsung heroes who have given so much to develop these players. “As a gateway to the stories and the clubs it’s fantastic. There is something there for anyone with an interest in club rugby as it’s a fascinating way of connecting with the Lions.” Sotic worked with the Lions and their data provider SFMS to create this invaluable tool and to compliment it, the Lions have compiled over 60 features profiling some of the rugby clubs that have produced these great players With a number of new...