Facebook Adds Video Ads To Articles

Tempting more publishers to play along, Facebook is adding video ads to Instant Articles.

Effective immediately, partner publishers can begin running animated ads and “click to play” videos. Within a month, auto-play video ads will also be an option.

The news follows Facebook’s decision to invite any and all publishers to participate in Instant Articles by April 12.

The expansion of the mobile news-perusing service bodes well for Facebook’s nearly 1 billion daily active mobile users.

For them, it means easier access to more news sources, and faster load times for everything from text to video. With Instant Articles, Facebook claims that mobile load times are 10 times faster than on the sites where the content comes from.

For publishers, Facebook is offering them 100% of the revenue from ads they run inside the service, while taking a reported 30% of revenue from ads that it sells through the Facebook Audience Network.

Less than a year old, the initiative appears to be thriving. Late last year, Instant Articles supported about 1,000 articles a day, from National Geographic to Time to USA Today.

Critics have tried to warn publishers about the dangers of getting into bed with Facebook, while the social giant’s rivals are trying to develop legitimate alternatives to Instant Articles.

In partnership with Twitter, LinkedIn, and others, Google recently unveiled “Accelerated Mobile Pages.”

The service promises publishers faster delivery of their content over mobile devices, and unlike Facebook’s offering -- and Apple News -- AMP is designed to work across multiple platforms, is open-sourced, and is available to any publisher that wants to participate.

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