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News And Views

News & Views

  • 21 May 2015
  • Howard Bowden

Facebook: Making News Faster

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Understanding where people go to get their online news fix is pretty important for us PRs - for millions, of course, the answer is Facebook, and now the social media giant is moving to make it even easier (and faster) for people to access news articles.

It’s teaming up with a cross section of media titles - from National Geographic and The New York Times to BuzzFeed, The Guardian and the BBC - to introduce something called Instant Articles, which will offer news organisations the chance to create interactive content that is simpler and faster to read on Facebook via a mobile device.

Facebook says it can take as long as eight seconds for a news article to load on a phone under its existing system - and is quick to point out that ‘immediacy’ is the most important thing.

As reported by the BBC’s always excellent Rory Cellan-Jones last week, a demo of Instant Articles shows a National Geographic piece filling the screen at once, with a number of extras: photos you can ‘like’ individually, embedded videos that autoplay, pop-out charts and maps. Facebook also says it’s providing publishers with the tools to make their content more engaging.

Some publishers will no doubt create tailored content for Instant Articles on Facebook - others, Rory reports, like the BBC will not want to put anything on Facebook's servers that’s not available on their own sites.

Facebook is already richer than any traditional media company - and with that wealth comes ever greater power over how its audience finds out about the news. And just when we thought news couldn’t get any faster.

Read more about Facebook Instant articles on their site, here.