Facebook’s Instant Articles program was launched earlier this year back in May, initially it was limited to the iOS app, with the social network feeding content from select publishers straight into the app. The idea is to enable users to access that content that sits on Facebook’s servers, they don’t go to the publisher’s website and are likely to engage more due to faster-loading content. Instant Articles have arrived on Android today though in just one country for now.
As of today Facebook users who use an Android smartphone in India can access Instant Articles, content is being provided by five local publishers which include India Today, The Quint, Aaj Tak, The Indian Express and Hindustan Times.
Facebook is going to open the Instant Articles platform to more publishers in the coming year as it gets feedback about the different types of content that’s being consumed by the Indian market.
The experience will be similar to its iOS counterpart, articles will be shown within the News Feed and will load significantly faster becauses users do not need to leave the app and launch another to follow an external link to the publisher’s website.
Facebook Instant Articles are being launched on Android in India because the country has a heavy Android user market, says Michael Reckhow, product manager for Instant Articles at Facebook. Gradually the program will go live on Android in other countries across the globe as well.