Social Media giant, Facebook, rolled out its 'Instant Article' feature for Indian users today. Instant Articles is a feature that allows users to load and read articles, on the Facebook app, almost 10 times faster than that on mobile web. For the time being, Facebook's 'Instant Articles' for India will feature posts from a select few publications such as Quint, India Today, HT, Indian Express and Aajtak. Facebook plans to expand this base to include more publications in the near future. According to a report filed by Exchange4Media, Andy Mitchel, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships, Facebook, said, "We at FB are really excited to be rolling out Instant article in India on Monday. We are working with the publisher ecosystem that is varied and are excited to see how this product will resonate with people on Facebook and publishers in India."
Mitchel went on to explain that 'instant Articles' will help users who experience low connectivity and those who are still using 2G networks. The USP of Instant Articles is the load time and using Facebook's technology users will be able to Instantly open articles, zoom into high-res pictures, watch auto-play videos as well as hear embedded audio captions. "The idea is to enhance people’s experience on Facebook to read articles and to solve problem of people consuming content on Facebook due to limited or slow connectivity in emerging markets which present great opportunity,” explained Mitchel.
Instant Articles will also be a boost for Indian publishers as it will allow them to publish articles ranging from daily news to longform features. Publishers will also be able to sell ads within the articles and keep the revenues generated from them. Instant Articles also integrate seamlessly with user's current workflow, using existing production tools along with standard HTML and RSS feeds. The Instant Articles feature is available to everyone who uses the Facebook app on their iPhones, while the beta testing for Android is currently underway.