When you link to a blog post on your Facebook Page, most people won’t stick around long if it takes ages to load. Facebook Instant Articles offers fast load times that can significantly increase the engagement on your Facebook Page. This post will cover the basics and show you how to create Facebook Instant Articles for your blog.
What are Facebook Instant Articles?
Facebook Instant Articles was released in spring 2016 as a feature for publishers to deliver a faster and more immersive reading experience for Facebook users. The articles load within Facebook when they’re clicked. According to Facebook, Instant Articles load up to 10 times faster than regular links to articles.
Instant Articles is used in the Facebook mobile app only. With more than 92% of Facebook users using Facebook on their mobile device every day, it’s no wonder Facebook wants to give viewers a more pleasant reading experience. Desktop users will still be taken to your website when they click on your content.
Because those who view your Instant Articles aren’t actually being taken to your website, they won’t be counted as referral traffic from Facebook. You can still use Google Analytics to measure the traffic to your Facebook Instant Articles.
Benefits of Facebook Instant Articles
The fast load time of Instant Articles lends to several benefits, including:
- More engagement. Facebook has found that 20% more Instant Articles are being read on average, and 70% of users are less likely to abandon the article.
- Bigger reach. Instant Articles are being shared 30% more often than mobile web articles on average.
- Understanding your audience. Facebook data allows you to track and understand how people engage with your Instant Articles. You can embed cookies to find out more about your audience’s interests and better serve them and target your ads.
Instant Articles is an easy feature to implement with a lot of payoff. Keep reading to learn how to create Facebook Instant Articles for your blog.
How to Create Instant Articles for Your Blog
To get started, you’ll need to add the official WordPress plugin for Instant Articles.
- In your WordPress Admin, click Add New Plugin.
- Enter Instant Articles for WP in the search box.
- Instant Articles for WP should show up first – click the Install button.
- Click Activate.
- In your WordPress Admin sidebar, click Instant Articles and configure the Facebook Instant Article Settings.
Next, access your Facebook Page for your blog (or learn how to create a Facebook Page). Click Settings, and open the Instant Articles settings option.
Read through the Initial Setup, then follow the directions in the first two options of the Tools section to Claim Your URL and submit your Production RSS Feed.
Your RSS Feed URL is set up through the WordPress plugin you installed in step 1. The URL by default is: http://www.yourdomain.com/feed/instant-articles
After completing those steps, submit your feed for review. Facebook will manually review your Instant Article RSS feed. Then, once its approved, your blog is all set up for Instant Articles!
Use the Facebook Page Manager app to test your Instant Articles before they’re approved. You can use the Manager app with an iPhone or Android phone. You may also want to test out custom styles for your Instant Articles with this app.
Once you’re approved, you can publish links as Instant Articles to get faster load times than traditional post links. From your Facebook Page Publishing Tools section, you’ll select Instant Articles then Production.
Facebook Instant Articles is a great way to enhance the reading experience for your blog readers and increase engagement on your Facebook Page. Refer to this guide and start publishing Instant Articles today!
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Do you use Facebook Instant Articles for your blog? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment!