Facebook Instant Articles Launches With 50 Publishers Across Asia

Facebook announced Wednesday the beta launch of Instant Articles, designed to give publishers control over their mobile Web stories, brand experience and monetization options. Some 50 publishers across Asia signed initially and an additional 30 publishers have agreed to begin adopting Instant Articles soon, per the social network.

Publishers in Asia are able to sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory. They will also have the ability to track data and traffic through analytics tools.

In the Asia Pacific, Facebook has over 500 million monthly active users.

“We worked closely with our early media partners in Asia to begin rolling out Instant Articles across the region. Internationally, publishers are already sharing thousands of Instant Articles on Facebook each day,” stated Ken Cheung, head of media partnerships, APAC.



The average news story takes about eight seconds to load, making it the slowest content type on Facebook. Instant Articles renders the reading experience as much as 10-times faster than standard mobile Web articles, the company claims.

"Instant Articles has been designed with extensive feedback from publishers," stated Andy Mitchell, director of global media partnerships, adding the collaboration would help its partners in Asia distribute "fast, interactive articles to their readers in the Facebook app."

Instant Articles are distinguished with a lightning bolt in the top right corner of a story.

The media format also introduces a suite of interactive features. Publishers can add features, such as zooming into high-resolution photos with a tilt of a phone, auto-play videos on the News Feed, interactive maps, audio captions and the ability to like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line.

Instant Articles first went live in the U.S. in May with The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, among its initial partners.

Earlier this week, Facebook extended Instant Articles into Latin America.

Asia publishers now live include China’s CCTVNEWS, Korea’s SBS News and India’s Hindustan Times. Additionally, partners like China Daily and Thailand’s Thairath have signed onto the program and will begin publishing soon.

Globally, Instant Articles is now available to all iPhone users. Android will launch the feature later this year.

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