Facebook rolls out Instant Articles for all iOS users

21 Oct 2015

Instant Articles, Facebook’s latest ploy to host news content in-app and stop people leaving the social media site to read stories, has just been rolled out for all iOS users.

This means that if you are using the Facebook app on iOS, you will be able to avail of news content loading instantaneously in your feed — that’s if the news source is a partner publisher.

So the likes of National Geographic, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post or The New York Times, for example, will have content readied for Facebook’s fast-loading processing.

The positive behind this is largely for people who like to live in their Facebook feed, with clicking on links being a lagging, frustrating experience as your smartphone struggles to open up external links quickly.

Although only on iOS for now, a beta version has been released on some Android devices, so your HTC, Samsung, Sony or whatever is a few months behind for now.

Facebook is investing big time in news curating. A few months back it finally overtook Google as the main driver of traffic for news.

However, if it is merely sending people away to browse other sites, that isn’t a huge victory for it. So last week we looked at Notify, a service the company is rumoured to be working on, which will be another attempt to keep users in-app.

There’s also a shopping channel that it’s looking at and, if Instant Articles proves a success, Instant Ads will go hand-in-hand.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic