Facebook announced this morning the launch of its Instant Articles service. The new integrated service available only for iOS so far promises a new tantalizing experience of the way we receive and read our news stories.
Instant Article features an array of positively reviewed traits. Firstly, it boasts a loading time of any story of up to ten times faster than any other platform. It is almost add free, making the story exploring experience so much more enjoyable and less stressed by pesky advertisements. And, most importantly, it allows for a multimedia experience that certainly captures your attention. See what Facebook has to say about it:
„a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways. Zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting your phone.”
Users are capable of performing a multitude or tasks, from scrolling through relevant stories to stumbling across rich auto-play videos, immersing themselves in audio captions or exploring interactive maps.
But perhaps the cleverest of all is the in-line article comment feature.
Sounds entertaining and fresh and with its extension to Android users the Instant Article services promises to be the next best thing.
Giant publishers have already wired themselves to the new service. New York Times, Buzzfeed, NBC and NationalGeographic are on the roll call, with many other expected to join soon.
While for users and for Facebook the new service is a welcomed instance of new experiences, the publishers might feel differently. Powered by Facebook, the Instant Article service is raising concerns over control distribution. Big publishers are finding themselves to rely on a service that offers little room for external control.
New York Times has expressed its concerns over the matter. Last October NYT columnist David Carr had mentioned:
“The wholesale transfer of content sends a cold, dark chill down the collective spine of publishers, both traditional and digital insurgents alike.”
Other fears stemming from the secrecy surrounding the deal added to the control issues. Nonetheless, NYT jumped in the wagon as the paper’s own released app did not provide the expected results. It is expected that this is the case with a number of the other giants that joined in.
So far, it is too soon to pass judgment on how the situation will play out. Instant Article has just been released to iOS Facebook users. It remains to see what the turnout will be. Meanwhile, enjoy the innovative experience of story reading.
Image Source: natmonitor.com