Facebook announced, a few months ago, that they are opening up Instant Articles for everyone. This is great news for the blogging community since Google has beaten them to the punch by releasing their AMP pages to the world.

What are Instant Articles?

Instant Articles are web pages. They have all the extra Java scripts and unneeded material scrubbed out of them. That way they load extremely fast on Facebook’s servers. This does have advantages over regular web pages. The first and most obvious are the speed of the download.

 

natGeoInstantarticle
The lightning bolt icon is your indicator that this article is an Instant Article. From NatGeo Facebook page

Most web pages have different Javascript libraries. These Libraries have to be downloaded and executed before a web page is displayed. The majority of these java scripts are for advertisements. So you will not be missing out on any pressing information.

When you scrub your page of all the excess and you optimize your images to a smaller more manageable picture. You speed up the time it takes for your web page to render and people can start consuming your content sooner. Your readers won’t be getting bored and giving up after 5 seconds of waiting. By the way, yes people these days do give up on a web page downloading after around 3-5 seconds. Sad but true.

The draw back most marketeers have with Facebook’s Instant Articles is the lack of ads. This in all actuality is not as bad as the Marketeers think. There is a chance that there is going to be a decrease in revenue. Your audience members will not miss them, though. People also worry about not having access to analytics. They fear they will not know quite how many people are viewing the content.

Both of these unproven fears are easily dismissed. because you will be able to place ads and you will receive 100% of your revenue. Then you can also place your Google Analytics on your pages.

If you want to see how Instant Articles behave. If you go to National Geographic’s Facebook page on your Facebook Mobile app. Just scroll down till you see an article with a picture. At the top right-hand corner of the picture, you will see a lightning bolt. Select this picture and you will see in an instant how fast the website loads.

How do you get ready for Instant Articles?

This feature isn’t going to be instant on April 12. You actually have a few steps you have to make before your site is ready for Instant Article fun.

Now there are several ways you can prepare for this. If you have a WordPress website, Facebook and Automatic have helped you prepare with a plugin. This Plugin will create the needed RSS feed for your articles.

According to the Instant Articles Quickstart Guide, there are 12 steps to being ready.

  1. Access your Instant Article Tools
    1. Go to your page
    2. go to Publishing Tools at the top of your page.
  2. If you have a team that accesses your page then you will need to set their roles. This way they are able to access the needed tools
  3. Install the Facebook Pages Mobile App
  4. Claim the URL of your site
  5. Choose Your Style of Instant Articles
    1. You will want to get a high res version of your Logo
    2. You will need header art that is at 4:3 ratio but it can be a video, or still art
    3. More details are found in the Design Guide
  6. Format your Instant Articles. This is done through the WordPress Plugin you installed
  7. Choose your publishing platform. This will more than likely be the RSS feed but if you are adventurous you can use their API
  8. Add your website to your Facebook page
  9. If you are using some ads you can set this up. Also, install your Google Analytics in this step so you are able to see the engagement.
  10. Verify you are following Facebook’s Guidelines Checklist. This means Internet Marketeers if you don’t do what is right then you will get bumped
  11. You will need to have at leat 50 articles. If you don’t then keep hammering till you do. Don’t just throw something together. You want quality.
  12. Then start publishing your Instant Articles

If you need more details about any of these steps. You can dig deeper in the quick start guide. In doing so, you will be ahead of many of your competitors, and your customers will be ready for your content.

Do you have your site ready? tell us in the Comments section

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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