Instant Articles, Facebook’s platform that has revolutionized how we load and read content online is a big thing for the company but the eventual global launch has been rather slow. It was launched on May 12 this year to a small section of Facebook for iPhone users then an eventual roll-out to all iPhone users last month.
In the case for Android users, it seems they have to wait a bit since the company promised to launch Instant Articles for the Facebook Android app later this year. Today, we see a step in fulfilling that promise where they announced that India will have Instant Articles on Android.
India has the second most populous country after China and it makes sense to roll-out the service in the country. According to Venture Beat, Michael Reckhow, Facebook’s product manager for Instant Articles was quoted as saying that “We are launching in India on Android, as the country is a heavy Android user market.” The publications that will debut with the release of Instant Articles in the country would be local publications like the Hindustan Times, India Today, Indian Express, Aaj Tak and The Quint.
Google has its own version of Instant Articles named Accelerated Mobile Pages that seeks to load webpages from certain partner publishers instantaneously. It has a demo which shows its potential and since they would partner with the likes of WordPress (that powers 25% of the web), its potential impact will be immense. Facebook would have to work harder to roll out Instant Articles to more markets soon so as to have a massive lead over Google’s AMP when it launches formally.