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Facebook Offers Instant 360-Degree Gratification

No matter how cool the content, people don’t like waiting for it to load. For better or worse, we’re an increasingly inpatient bunch, and, if we’re not immediately engaged, we’ll just move onto something else. The data makes that clear.

With that in mind, Facebook is adding 360 videos and photos to its Instant Articles program. 

Now, “Instant Articles is a complementary canvas for 360 media,” Josh Roberts, a product manager at Facebook, notes in a new blog post.

As such, partner publishers can now include 360 content “in-line,” which means right in users’ News Feeds.

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More to the point, the video and photos -- from sweeping views of national parks narrated by Ken Burns to a grand tour of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier -- are supposed to load almost immediately.

Facebook’s Instant Articles program is facing increasing competition from Apple News and Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). That latter has already expanded beyond news into other categories, from query results to ecommerce to advertising.

In response, Facebook just recently offered partner publishers access to several new ad options, including larger mobile display ads, and -- for those using the Facebook Audience Network -- video and carousel formats.

Previously, Facebook increased the number of ads allowed per each article, and began testing native call-to-action features in Instant Articles.

It also rolled out a new feature allowing users to send each other links to Instant Articles in its popular Messenger function.

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