On Wednesday, Facebook plans on launching its new Instant Article feature which will allow users to read articles they are interested on ten times faster than they used. This will be possible because the articles will be posted directly on Facebook, instead of just hosting a link that takes about 8 seconds to be accessed.
To get the project going, Facebook agreed to let 9 important media companies, from all over the globe, share stories through their new Instant Article.
Facebook also seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to accommodate publishers on their platform and the only payment the news outlets will have to pay on Facebook is 30% of the price of adds (should they solicit any). It also agreed to let media companies add advertisements to their articles free of charge.
Among the nine major media companies that agreed to sign up on this project are Buzzfeed, The New York Times, Bild, BBC News and National Geographic.
According to the Chief Executive of Buzzfeed, Jonah Peretti, the vibe of Instant Article will be that of an app which allows the user to read news and which has interactive features such as videos, maps and pictures.
Facebook has received a lot of praise for this initiative, which is meant to ensure quality journalism to its subscribers.
Publishers are also eager to reach more readers and thus gaining more subscribers on their websites, but at the same time they are fearful of how much Facebook has grown in the eyes of the users.
They also are aware of the fact that Facebook can select which stories their users see and it does not sit well with them to know that the articles they post may never reach their intended audience.
During the first week, only a handful of articles will be posted by each company. They will also be able to provide their fans fast loading videos and high definition photos which allow zooming in.
The allure of reading articles online without having to wait for a link to load has cast its spell over many users and at this moment, according to Pew Research Center, around 39% of Americans get all their political news from Facebook. These numbers show that Facebook is a more important gateway for the news than Yahoo News, Twitter or even Google News.
To counteract Facebook`s move, Google is also looking to strengthen the relationship it has with online publishers and announced that it will offer grants of over $150 million to digital initiatives.
Image Source: NYTimes
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