Lately, there has been a lot of hype related to Facebook instant articles. It all started when Facebook collaborated with the parent company of WordPress, Automattic, with the aim of building a free plugin for instant articles. This plugin would help WordPress blog masters to share their content on the go with Facebook instant articles.

And if statistics are to be believed based on Instant Articles 1 year beta testing phase;

  • Facebook instant articles are shared 30% more as compared to mobile web articles.
  • They also receive 20% more clicks when compared to mobile web articles.

Facebook with its initiative of Instant Articles has stepped towards making the content delivery quicker and easy, at the same time, providing flawless experience to the mobile app users. The program was at first limited to a certain group of publishers consisting of the New York Times, BuzzFeed and BBC News; it is now open to all publishers from April.

The Facebook Instant Articles is a well-laid system through which instant articles are produced when RSS feed is associated with Facebook Page. For this to happen, content publishers need to join the program. They can then customize the whole experience of Instant Articles as per their requirement.

With so much excitement all around, it only becomes obvious to know what Facebook instant articles exactly are. Let’s find out!

How Facebook Instant Articles Work?

Currently, Facebook Instant Articles are in beta stage. Facebook is currently in the process of testing the plugin. The plugin would be able to seamlessly adapt web content in accordance with the instant articles. The major benefit of the Facebook instant articles is that articles would be able to load faster in the Facebook’s news feed – faster up to ten times than standard web articles. They would further be optimized for mobile devices.

This update basically looks forward to solving the loading problem of articles from external sources. Further, dynamic content like images and videos would also be presented in a better way.

This reveals that articles, when shared onto Facebook from an approved website, will have an instant article optimized version rather than a mobile web version.

The Instant Articles would be managed through a Facebook page. And thus, if you don’t have a Facebook page yet, you would need to have that before making full use of Instant Articles.

If your organization has a well-maintained Facebook page with decent active users, it only is wiser to try your hands at Facebook Instant Articles. This not only provides you additional control over the content layout on the Facebook app, publishers can even manage to keep 100% to 70% of the ad revenue generated by selling the ad space within Instant Articles.

The better UX/UI experiences along with increased revenue are enough to convince you to go for Facebook Instant Articles. But, it is not as easy as it seems! You need to understand the whole concept behind getting the Facebook instant articles working for you.

Let’s explore that in detail.

Mandatory Steps to Getting Started With Facebook Instant Articles

To get started with Facebook instant articles, here are a few steps you need to follow:

  • Begin the process by joining the program at Instant Articles. After signing up, you would need to choose the Facebook page you want to activate articles for.
  • Once you selected the desired Facebook page, claim a URL that you would like to use for publishing articles.
  • You can also synchronize your blog with Facebook instant articles via API or an RSS feed.

 

How to Integrate Your WordPress Blog with Facebook Instant Articles?

The Facebook instant articles as of now can be installed via GitHub but would soon be available in the WordPress plugin directory. In order to get started, you need to download the zip file from GitHub.

Once downloaded, simply install on your WordPress website the same way as you install other plugins.

 

How to Configure Facebook Instant Article WordPress Plugin?

You would need to input the App Secret and Facebook App ID to start using the plugin. You would need to create a Facebook app for this.

  • Click on ‘add a new app’ in ‘go to this page’.
  • A pop will appear. On that click on the website as the option.
  • After that, click on ‘create App id’. Enter the website URL on that page.
  • Then, click on next. App id and app secret would be generated on next page.
  • Now in order to make your app live, review the app and make your app live.
  • Now move on to the Facebook instant article WordPress plugin settings. Enter the app id and app secret that we just generated onto the WordPress plugin.
  • Next, you would be able to see an option to login onto Facebook on next page.
  • You would just need to connect your new feed to the Facebook page.
  • Click on next to configure this with your website.
  • Add the logo.
  • And you’re done. One of the tricky parts is that the plugin would ask you to submit 10 articles for review. In that case, open previously published 10 articles in edit mode, save them and send those to Facebook instant articles RSS feed.
  • This would send the articles for review. It takes 3-4 days to get them approved. Once approved, you can publish the articles automatically.
  • Enable auto-publishing from the auto feed and you’re done.

Tracking Facebook Instant Articles

Now that you have integrated the Facebook instant articles with your website, how would your track the traffic that your articles are receiving? How would you track the users?

Fret no more. As per the official documentation released, you can track the data. Facebook instant articles are perfectly compatible with all major analytic tools like comScore attribution and Google analytics.

You just need to add code snippet in your Google analytics to make things work.

<figure class=”op-tracker”>
<iframe>

(function (i,s,o,g,r,a,m)

{i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function () {(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)0];a.async=1; a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)}

(window,document,’script’,’//www.google- analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘ANALYTICS ID’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘require’, ‘displayfeatures’);
ga(‘set’, ‘campaignSource’, ‘Facebook’);
ga(‘set’, ‘campaignMedium’, ‘Social Instant Article’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, {title: ‘POST TITLE’});

</iframe>
</figure>

 

This code snippet is developed by Facebook in association with Google Analytics.

So over to you now! It would be fun to see the evolution of Facebook Instant Articles. Did you try Facebook instant articles yet? What is your experience? Did you find worth it? Let us know in comments.

Create WordPress themes in minutes with TemplateToaster