Facebook removes Instant Articles from Messenger

Facebook removes Instant Articles from Messenger. Photo: Twitter

California/United States, September 12: While Facebook prepares to offer its readers to subscribe and pay for news directly from inside the application, the online social network continues to fiddle with how it presents the content of publishers somewhere else.

According to media sources, Facebook confirmed that it has removed the Instant Articles that is the Facebook’s self-hosted, faster-loading article format for mobile from Messenger. According to official reports, it said that “As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles in order to have the greatest impact on people and publishers, we are focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core application and it would be longer offered Instant Articles in Messenger.”

According to reliable sources, an official said that “We believe that Messenger is an exciting channel for new and interesting news consumption experiences, including the opportunity to build unique messaging experiences in Messenger that many publishers have executed successfully via the Messenger Platform.”

The format of Instant Articles was launched by the Facebook in 2015 with the aim of speeding up page load time by ten times compared to the mobile web, also cutting down the number of people dropping off when reading on mobile devices. This format was designed to run in the News Feed, in 2016 Facebook expanded Instant Articles to Messenger as part of a strategy to upgrade content on the application, which today has over 1.2 billion users.

Various high profile publications and publishers, comprising the Guardian, Forbes, Hearst, The New York Times, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, CBS News, NPR, Financial Times, and VICE News either removed, scaled back, or never participated in Instant Articles  because of the lack of monetization on the platform. There were also problems with traffic reporting with the format.

According to media sources, Facebook attempted to respond to these problems in order to make more publisher-friendly. Facebook corrected the traffic reports and introduced new analytics tool s to measure in a better way. Facebook now has native advertisements in the format alongside links for further reading and readers can now sign up for more content that is specifically for newsletters at the bottom of Instant Articles. This step was to extend the content channel and to also expand the Instant Articles to support Google AMP and Apple News. Obviously, you cannot easily add Urchin Tracking Module at the end of the Instant Article Uniform Resource Locators in order to track who is clicking and from where traffic is coming.

When Instant articles in Messenger was launched by Facebook, some people believed that the extension would help in boosting the format at a time when the company was minimizing publishers in the News Feed algorithm and leaving them behind friends. It is fair to just wonder that if that boost played or not. There is one thing that appears more clear that Instant Articles whether on Messenger or not would remain as a grip in how Facebook would want to work with publishers.

According to the media sources, Facebook has confirmed that it would team up with publishers on a paid-content model and the testing would start later this year. According to official reports, readers would be able to subscribe and pay for publications directly from the Facebook’s mobile application. The details of the pricing are still being worked out but the publishers who want to participate in the paid-content model must publish their content innately to Facebook by way of Instant Articles.