The Instant Articles platform will debut first on the iPhone with nine publishers on board as partners. These publishers include The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel, and Bild.
“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook,” said Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox in a statement. “Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”
Instant Articles allows publishers full control over the branding experience for their specific content, and also allows publishers to monetize the content and sell their own ads or let Facebook sell their ads on a 70-30 split of revenue between the publisher and Facebook.
One advantage Facebook’s Instant Articles platform offers is a promise of much faster speed. Facebook says that articles will load ten times faster than clicking through to the article from a website.
For now publishers will not put their entire library of stories on Facebook’s platform, but rather a small selection of content.
The next few weeks will determine if Instant Articles is a success. It will largely depend on news consumers enthusiasm and the content that publishers choose to place on the platform. The journalism business is perpetually in need of new revenue models, and Facebook Instant Articles certainly has the potential to help.