Facebook has generated over 2 million email sign-ups resulting from the call-to-action units embedded in Instant Articles, according to the company.
Instant Articles is Facebook’s mobile publishing format. On a basic level, Instant Articles allows publishers to optimize their stories to be displayed on Facebook. Since Instant Articles’ original launch, however, Facebook has expanded the mobile publishing format to allow news organizations to include a call to action unit alongside the story.
The advertisements allow publishers to either promote their Facebook fan page or encourage readers to sign up for a publisher’s email list. 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.
Since Facebook expanded Instant Articles with call-to-action ad units in April, the social media company has generated over 2 million email sign-ups. A company representative also asserts that the current rate of subscriptions is over 25,000 per day across all publishers on Facebook.
Facebook has over 10,000 publishers using Instant Articles as of June, and the company says it pays more than $1 million per day to publishers via its Facebook Audience Network.
Facebook has asserted that its goal with ads in Instant Articles is to maintain a great reading experience for its users, while also driving revenue for publishers. Facebook does not have the best working relationship with the publishing industry, but helping news organizations recruit new readers is a step in the right direction.
Alongside Google, Facebook dominates the digital advertising industry and has helped deplete advertising revenue from news organizations. Furthermore, social media was the eye of the fake news storm during the U.S. presidential election.
Earlier this year Facebook announced the Facebook Journalism Project, an initiative to build a stronger relationship with the news industry. Facebook is also currently testing new paid subscription options.
This week a variety of newspaper publishers asked Congress for the right to negotiate collectively with Google and Facebook. The long-shot request would carve out a limited antitrust exemption from Congress, normally reserved for special cases like labor unions, that would allow the group of news organizations to bargain with the two technology giants together.