Facebook today announced that it’s rolling out Instant Articles for anyone and everyone using the Facebook for iOS application. It was about five months ago when Facebook announced these fast-loading articles which will appear in News Feed and since then the feature has been made available to selected users. Now though anyone on Facebook for iOS can get in on the fun.
Starting today iOS app users will start seeing a lightning bolt on the top right corner of some stories shared in the News Feed, this lightning bolt denotes that the story is an Instant Article, tap on it and Facebook promises that it will load ten times faster than a standard web article on a mobile device.
Publishers participating in Facebook Instant Articles include The New York Times, National Geographic, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and others. Many new publishers will also be bringing Instant Articles to Facebook in the near future.
There are several features built right into Instant Articles to provide users with a richer reading experience. For example the articles from NBC News will have autoplay videos which “come to life” when readers scroll through the story. Those from National Geographic will allow readers to explore geo-tagged images that open interactive maps so they can get a sense of where the story actually happened.
Facebook hasn’t forgotten about its readers on Android, today it’s launching a public beta program for Android and promises that Instant Articles for Android will be properly launched later this year.
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