Facebook rolled out Instant Articles, a revolutionary way to read articles from various publishers on Facebook that load instantaneously to a small number of users for months now. Now, the company announced that it has rolled out the service to all users who use Facebook for iPhone.
On your newsfeed, Instant Articles are denoted by a lightning bolt at the top right corner of a post. When you tap on the article, it loads almost instantaneously negating the need for you to wait for an article to load. These articles are immersive in nature where one can view high resolution photos, autoplay videos and in some cases you can open geo-tagged images that open interactive maps.
Facebook has partnered with several publishers like the New York Times, National Geographic, Daily Mail, Washington Post, MTV, Huffington Post in the Instant Articles platform who post thousands of articles per day. The social networking giant also promises that there will be other publishers that will post Instant Articles on Facebook.
This extensive roll out of Instant Articles comes at a time when Google also announced their own version of “Instant Articles” dubbed Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google’s version however is open source whereas Facebook is proprietary. Publishers are the big winners in this case in that you can see some of them signing up in both platforms to be a part of the next evolution of the Internet.
Facebook promises that Android users will also get Instant Articles later this year although there will be a beta that will be available this week. Instant Articles becoming mainstream and their latest experiment to add a dedicated video feed on the newsfeed will properly establish Facebook as the major source of news for its 1.49 billion users.