You’ve probably read Instant Articles on your phone without really realising it. Facebook launched their Instant Articles feature for certain publishers last year and opened it up to any WordPress.org (self hosted WordPress) site a few months ago. But is it worth setting up?
The main reason we wanted to set up Instant Articles is because it’s faster to load on mobile phones and easier to read – which makes it more likely that people will read the post. According to Facebook, people read 20% more Instant Articles than standard posts on average, were 70% less likely to give up reading the post before they reached the end and were 30% more likely to share.
You’re also able to monetise your articles with Facebook’s Audience Network or your own ads – you’ll keep all of the money earnt with your own ads, but Facebook will take a 30% cut from any through Audience Network (however, it’s the most simple way to monetise, so it’s something to consider!)
The biggest con for us was getting it set up. It is not simple! We followed these instructions from the Buffer blog but still hit some weird errors which weren’t answered anywhere on the plugin pages support section.
Another downside for some is that Instant Articles don’t bring any traffic to your site. Much like an RSS feed reader, the reader will see the text but doesn’t actually visit the website so it could mean a drop in traffic.
If you’re interested in getting this set up, head over to instantarticles.fb.com – but if you’re not super confident in setting up complicated plugins, you might be best to wait until a more user friendly version is released!