Facebook premiered their proprietary Instant Articles close to two years ago which was a move by the company to ensure users don’t experience the loading times we have grown accustomed to before reading an article. It was a success since major publishers signed up for the new format and it made the likes of Google to come up with their own version, which they called Accelerated Mobile Pages. (AMP).
There is still room for improvement in Instant Articles and Facebook seems to have an idea that we have seen Snapchat do on their Discover. According to the company, starting from today, publishers will be able to combine several Instant Articles into one post.
All they have to do is choose the articles and a cover image or video which are packaged together as one. Facebook says that they are testing this feature with a select number of publishers (BILD, BuzzFeed El PAis, Washington Post, USA Today, Refinery29, India Times and more) and will get more input from them.
The decision to combine several articles and give them a common cover is similar to what we have seen on Snapchat’s Discover and it is not a surprise the company is copying its features to stay ahead. Snapchat’s Discover has always been unique thanks to that format and will allow people to catch up on several related news articles at a go.
Facebook says that users with the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps will be able to see the changes in the coming weeks.