Facebook to Open Instant Articles to All Publishers in April

February 18, 2016, 3:19 PM UTC
Courtesy of Facebook.

Facebook’s Instant Articles will be available for all publishers starting April 12, the company announced Wednesday.

Instant Articles—which initially launched for just nine publications in May—allows articles to load as much as 10 seconds faster when Facebook users click a news link on their mobile device. Now, hundreds of publishers already use Instant Articles, but the April expansion is likely to make the format ubiquitous, according to The Verge.

Instant Articles strips down news articles so that they are digitally lean but visually pleasing, and Facebook preloads them as users swipe down their News Feeds. Users are more likely to click and share articles in this format. For now, publishers who format their articles through this offering get to keep all of their ad revenue and ad analytics systems.

“Media organizations and journalists are an integral part of Facebook, and we’re committed to delivering products that will create the best experience for publishers and their readers,” product manager Josh Roberts said in a blog post. “With Instant Articles, publishers have full control over the look of their stories, as well as data and ads.”

While most publishers are playing along for the additional traffic that the format should generate, some have expressed concern that Facebook could change the revenue agreement once news sites rely on Instant Articles, essentially luring news organizations into a costly trap. When asked by The Verge whether Facebook would begin to take a cut of publishers’ revenue, Roberts said: “We’re committed to being a good partner here.”

Time Inc., which owns Fortune, is a partner for Instant Articles; Fortune will likely use the format as well.

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