Facebook has now launched a new feature called “instant articles.” These articles are provided by sources like BBC, National Geographic, or Buzzfeed and are more immersive and interactive than what is currently on your newsfeed. Not only does this new platform allow for content to load “instantly,” well maybe not instantly but it is much faster, but it also allows for zooming in on a picture, hearing the author narrate the caption, and auto-play videos. Facebook hopes that Instant articles are going to change the way we interact with content. Instead of clicking on a link, going to the National Geographic article, and only seeing a large picture without much detail, instant articles gives readers the ability to immerse themselves in the article in a more interactive way. By using auto-play videos, zoomed in pictures, and narrated captions, readers will experience the content in a new approach. Facebook has enabled their nine current partners (The New York Times, National Geographic, Buzzfeed, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel Online, and Bild) to keep track of audience metrics and to keep their current advertisements on the articles. Thus, instant articles could be good news for the publishers. The content will likely have more engagement while still maintaining audience metrics and their own advertisements. To see the first instant article from the New York Times, follow this link.
Instant articles is not the only new innovation coming from Facebook. Recently, Facebook announced they’re going to ‘up the ante’ with their buying and selling pages. Currently, people that are part of these buy and sell pages are able to post a location, description, price, and photos about the item for sale. Now, Facebook is moving to the next level. Facebook is introducing a new “all sales groups” option for users. A user belonging to multiple buying and selling groups can now see items for sale from all groups in one convenient place. This new page also hosts a search bar so that you can easily see who has a “sofa” or “coffee table” available. This page is putting Facebook in direct competition with companies like eBay and Craigslist. It will be interesting to see how consumers feel about purchasing goods via Facebook and if this innovation will drive consumers away from eBay or Craigslist. According to The Next Web, Facebook will be testing this new page soon.
Facebook has always been an innovative company, so these new advances are no surprise. It will be interesting to see where Facebook goes in the future – whether it’s faster video content, additional service pages, more partners for instant articles, or virtual reality, we will be waiting to see what Facebook does next.