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Facebook announced today that Instant Articles are now available to iPhone users. The company claims that “thousands of new articles” will be available daily to users right from within their Facebook app — instantly (!). But the social networking company hasn’t forgotten about Android users; it said that later this year, Instant Articles will be available for that mobile operating system (it’s already in public beta).
Instant Articles debuted in May as a feature that imported content from a specific set of publishers directly into a user’s News Feed. At the time, Facebook product manager Michael Reckhow wrote: “Along with a faster experience, Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways.” The concept centered on the fact that if publishers had their content right in the app, it could increase exposure, thereby helping people find what’s going on in the world that much faster.
Starting now, people using their iPhone to access Facebook will notice specific pieces of content with a lightning bolt that denotes the content is an Instant Article.
Publishers that are participating right now include The New York Times, National Geographic, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian, MTV, BBC News, The Washington Post, and others. Additional partners will be added in the future including Brit + Co., CNET, Refinery 29, CBS News, Entertainment Weekly, NBA, Rolling Stone, MLB, Good Housekeeping, and a host of others.
The wider release of Instant Articles comes as other platforms are getting in on this new way to target publishers. Google has unveiled its own offering called the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, which has also become open to more partners.
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