About a year after their merging, Facebook has decided that Messenger and Instant Articles are not a match made in heaven.
Rather than a failure, the social giant is painting the decision to separate the two services as an opportunity. “We’re focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app,” a company spokesperson said on Tuesday.
By some measures, Instant Articles has been a success. Compared to the mobile Web content, for example, Instant Articles delivers between 20% to 50% more traffic, according to internal estimates.
Yet, the initiative has recently fallen out of favor with some publishers. To address these concerns, Facebook is developing new features to help publishers build deeper relationships with audiences, Harshit Agarwa, a product manager at Facebook, said earlier this year.
As of this summer, Instant Articles was paying out more than $1 million per day to publishers via Facebook Audience Network, according to internal figures.
From late 2016 to mid-2017, revenue per 1,000 page views (RPM) that publishers saw from Facebook Audience Network in Instant Articles increased by more than 50%.
Worldwide, roughly 10,000 publishers presently participate in Instant Articles, which represents a 25% increase over the past six month, per Facebook.
Meanwhile, Facebook recently expanded its Messenger ad program to businesses around the world.
In addition to Messenger ads, Facebook is increasingly inviting businesses to monetize Messenger by opening conversations with click-to-Messenger ads, managing conversations within the Messenger Platform, and re-engaging those conversations using sponsored messages.
Like Audience Network, Messenger ads are an additional placement option when businesses run ads on Facebook.
Advertisers can now add Messenger to campaigns, using the Traffic and Conversion objectives, with more options, like the App Installs objective, which is coming soon.
Facebook Messenger first announced it had surpassed 1.2 billion monthly active users in April. The figure is impressive considering that many users initially rejected the app when Facebook decided to separate it from its flagship app back in 2014.
The growth is even more noteworthy considering the competition that Messenger is facing, including from other Facebook-owned apps.