Facebook recently loosened the reins on its Instant Articles feature, a unique way for users to load mobile news articles and blog posts instantly without leaving the app, and those of us in the media industry better pay close attention.
Now, rather than a premium feature only available to top-tier media, Facebook allows publishers “of any size, anywhere in the world” access to the newly created product. Instant Articles increase the average number of read articles by 20 percent, with users now 70 percent less likely to abandon the article, making this an essential tactic for companies’ PR and marketing efforts.
Facebook teamed up with Automattic to provide WordPress sites, a platform that powers more than 25 percent of the entire web, a quick and easy way to turn their content into the format necessary for “Instant Articles.” Users familiar with WordPress and installing plugins will find the process easy, though depending on which other plugins you have installed, it may require a few extra lines of code to hook into the Instant Articles output so everything plays nice together.
Step 1 – Download the plugin from Github (coming to the WordPress plugin repository very soon)
Step 2 – Navigate to your WordPress dashboard, then Plugins > Add New
Step 3 – Find the ZIP file downloaded in Step 1 and upload the plugin to WordPress
Step 4 – Once the upload has completed, click “activate plugin”
Step 5 – Review your article/post formatting and make sure you follow the formatting guidelines provided by Facebook
Step 6 – Follow the Instant Articles Checklist and ensure your content follows all of Facebook’s rules prior to submitting the feed for approval
Step 7 – Submit your feed for approval and wait for the go-ahead from Facebook!
Once your feed is approved and live for Instant Articles, Facebook will begin to automatically serve content in this manner whenever your content is shared on their network. It’s exciting to see how Facebook is looking for new and innovative ways to increase content viewership for all publishers, big and small. If you’re looking for other exciting ways to get your content out in front of new eyes or if you need a team that can create high quality content from press releases to blog posts to interviews and everything in-between, let us know—it’s what we do at Tech Image!