Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) Opens Up Instant Articles


The mobile news war just got more interesting with Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) having confirmed the opening of the technology behind Instant Articles. What this means is that publishers will now be able to use the tech giant’s software tool to produce articles that can be used in other rival services.

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The new feature comes as a surprise given that the company is entangled in a fierce battle for publishers when it comes to news online. However, it is a big relief for publishers who can now use the company’s tool to produce articles that can be used on a number of platforms including Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Accelerate Mobile pages and Apple’s upcoming news format.

The ability to come up with articles that load more quickly in a mobile browser has also been simplified with the latest push as the tech giant continues to explore ways of keeping publishers happy. However, Facebook opening up its software tool could be an admission that Instant Articles has failed to live up to expectations in terms of attracting publishers and readers.

Competition Threat

Revenues from instant Articles have not hit levels that Facebook had envisioned even on promising to offer publishers 70% of all ads revenue it generated on ads sold on their articles. The company had gone as far as allowing the publishers to keep 100% of revenues they generated on ads they sold on their articles.

It is still unclear whether Facebook opening up its software tool will move the needle in attracting more publishers into Instant Articles. Giving up more control over content has always been a big concern for most publishers who have so far opted out of joining the Instant Articles bandwagon.

Google’s AMP has turned out to be publisher’s favorite given that it is more open with few restrictions compared to Instant articles. AMP, unlike other platforms, is open source allowing publishers to tweak its code as they wish. The fact that publishers can operate subscriptions and paywalls also makes it a firm favorite compared to Instant Articles

Facebook stock was up by 0.11% in Monday trading session ending the day at $152.13 a share

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