Facebook Updates Instant Articles, Encourages Email Sign-Ups

Facebook introduced significant improvements to its Instant Articles feature on Friday, adding new tools that encourage email subscription recruitment for publishers.

Publishers can now include a call to action alongside articles distributed on the social media site. The call to action can currently promote a publisher’s Facebook fan page or email marketing, but the social media Titan is also testing features that would enable publishers to offer free digital subscription trials to Facebook users and promote their mobile applications.

Facebook’s new email call-to-action feature in Instant Articles allows publishers to acquire new subscribers through the social media site. An advertisement appears in the middle of the news article on Facebook, giving readers a streamlined way to sign up for a publisher’s email newsletter. Since Facebook already has email records for its user base, the company pre-populates the sign-up form with a customer’s information so readers can sign up with just one click.  

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Similarly, Facebook users can also "Like" a publisher’s fan page by interacting with the ad displayed in the middle of the article. These advertising boxes can also be customized so publishing brands can have creative control over the design and text of the call-to-action.

Facebook is actively trying to make the social media site a more welcoming home for publishing companies. Last month, the company added more advertising capabilities to Instant Articles, allowing publishers to include multiple ads within the text of a story.

Facebook also released a new feature aimed at helping consumers identify fake news sources this week. 

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