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content marketing

Mark your calendars if you create content for the web. Facebook rolls out a new service on April 12th. Instant Articles is a way for blogs (and publishers) to transmit and monetize their content through Facebook. The feature has only been accessible to a small number (read: hundreds of elite) providers, but in April it will be open to “any content publisher or blog,” according to WebProNews.

Instant Articles offers a few things:

  1. Distribution to wider audience. Content will appear directly in users’ News Feeds. Yes, yet another task to add to one’s to-do list when marketing content!
  2. 100 percent of proceeds from display ad revenue. You would create your own display ads that would be visible around your content.
  3. Link-back to your site/blog. Remains to be seen if this would be valuable link-building, but time will tell.
  4. Rich media options. You can embed auto-play videos. (Remember–adding media to your content is uber important nowadays.)
  5. Interactive content. Facebook users have the opportunity to interact with different items within an Instant Article. They can ‘like’ photos, videos, etc. within the article.
  6. Analytics. Compatibility with popular existing analytics providers is in place, and this can help content creators understand more about the demographics behind their readers.
  7. Branding. You can customize font and colors to match your existing brand for consistency.
  8. Copy/paste. Outside of Facebook, some platforms require original content. The terms for Facebook Instant Articles don’t impose this. It appears you can simply copy/paste from your own platform. Wonder what duplicate content issues might surface?

Similarly, you may have noticed a few years ago that LinkedIn started a publishing feature. If you use it, LinkedIn automatically alerts all your connections on your initial post, then your connections can unsubscribe if they so choose. I was leery to use it (just used it once to test it out) out of concern LinkedIn would eventually change their terms and ‘own’ the content. Their terms state that they do not own the content. We’ve all seen how terms of use change unexpectedly on social platforms and it’s something I’m still cautious about – which sparks my wait-and-see approach with Facebook’s Instant Articles.

This new Instant Articles service may very well get me to come back to Facebook. Check out their promo video below. It’s been more than two years since I said farewell to my Facebook author page, and I rarely use my personal profile other than logging in to manage clients’ business pages. Another attraction: Facebook states “Instant Articles display as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles.” This is not only a sweet feature as a user, but keeps your content in line with the latest search functions as it comes on the heels of Google’s AMP (Advanced Mobile Pages) adjustment. (Which you would have learned a little bit about if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter.)

Do you think this will change how you promote your online content and how much you use Facebook?