June 15, 2017

A Complete Guide to Facebook Instant Articles – Implementation, PROS and CONS

In case you don’t know it’s been more than 6 weeks Facebook has made Instant Articles open for all publishers. We are a power Instant Articles user since it’s inception and we know it’s pros and cons. Though, Instant Articles has a lot of benefits, it has a lot more drawbacks since you cannot use any third party scripts.

What is Facebook Instant Articles?

Instant Articles is just like AMP, but it works only on Facebook App for Android and iOS. Whenever a webmaster activated Instant Articles for his blog/website. The article will open incredibly fast when accessed on Mobile.

  1. The whole intention behind Instant Articles is to deliver a better user experience and better engagement for media websites.
  2. Also, there is also a speculation that Facebook wants to expand it’s Audience Network and currently you can only show ads from Audience Network and display ads through any other means requires a special integration which everyone cannot do – Evil isn’t it?

Well, there’s a good news anyways, Instant Articles is expanding to various other advertising networks. The news has been officially confirmed today.

Advantages of Instant Articles:

  1. Faster loading.
  2. Better Engagement.
  3. Better Reach.
  4. Better User Experience.

Disadvantages of Instant Articles:

  1. You cannot use any third party scripts.
  2. No layout customization as per your need. Facebook has already made a layout and every Instant Articles publisher has to use the same. However, color and font customization is available.
  3. Currently, it’s not easy to implement third party ads other than Facebook Audience Network. This is possibly the biggest disadvantage as most of the publishers rely on Google AdSense as their primary display advertising network.

How to Implement Facebook Instant Articles for your Blog/Website:

It’s pretty much easy and straight forward to implement Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress blogs. But, however if you are using a different platform there are ways to achieve the same, follow the steps below and the below steps are applicable for all the blogs.

  • Visit your Facebook Page, then Settings and head over to Instant Articles.

head over to instant articles

  • Then firstly, you need to connect your site to the page. Place the meta tag in the header of your page. If you find it difficult to place, then you can use this plugin called Header and Footer to verify the Tag on your website.

connect your website to facebook instant articles

  • Before we proceed further go to Facebook Developer Tools and create an app. While creating an app choose as App for Pages and then mention your website if required.
  • Once done with that make sure your App is live and visible to Public.

make your app live

  • After finishing these steps, you need to create RSS feed for Instant Articles. This can be achieved in multiple ways, but I would recommend you to use a plugin Instant Articles for WP which is officially released by Facebook for Instant Articles.
  • Once you have installed the plugin, the RSS feed will be accessed at site.com/feed/instant-articles.
  • Then you need to give this RSS feed url in Production RSS Feed.

production RSS feed

  • Then you need to give a Design in Styles. Where you can Upload a Custom LOGO, give different styles for headings, content and much more.

style for instant articles

  • Then add Analytics code into the Plugin, so that you can track the Visitors and Pageviews like on the regular website.

Analytics for Instant Articles

  • After some time, you would notice that you have articles in Configuration, which are not yet published.
  • Make sure that there are no errors in the articles and then once everything is fine.
  • Submit for review.

It would take anywhere between 3-5 days for your application to be reviewed and approved. The process is manual, so make sure you do not do any mistakes.

You can also monetize Instant Articles with Facebook Audience Network which I would be covering in the next article. Do let me know if you are facing any issues in the submission and approval process, I can help you out with the same.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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