Facebook has announced plans to open up its Instant Articles programme to all publishers globally to give users a better and faster reading experience.
The company said today, that beginning April 12th, all publishers will be able to create articles using the format.
The format loads articles inside the Facebook app more quickly than traditional links by stripping out most of the code and pre-fetching stories when you approach them in the News Feed.
While speed is key to Instant Articles, Facebook designed the program as a way to bring specially formatted content into News Feed directly from publishers. With the aim of keeping Facebookers locked into the social network as long as possible.
The feature was launched in October 2015 for iOS users and rolled out in December 2015 for Android users, with the promise that it would significantly speed up load times for mobile users. The program had since been limited to a few hundred publishers.
Now anyone with a website and a Facebook page anywhere in the world will be able to take advantage of the program, which lets publishers host content directly on Facebook instead of posting links to direct users back to their own sites.
“Slow loading times on the mobile web created a problematic experience for people reading news on their phones. This is a problem that impacts publishers of all sizes, especially those with audiences where low connectivity is an issue,” Facebook said in a blog post Wednesday.
“Our goal from the beginning was to open up Instant Articles to all publishers and we’re excited to be able to do that.”
With Instant Articles, publishers around the world can have full control over the look of their stories as well as data and ads.
The shift could vastly expand Facebook’s wide variety of content, which in turn could potentially result in users spending more time on the site, making it a more attractive destination for advertisers.
Last year, some publishers openly worried that Facebook would eventually seek to take a cut of all revenue generated from Instant Articles, however the social media giant insisted that it would work against its goal of making as many articles “instant” as possible.