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A New Study Claims That Facebook’s Instant Articles See a 30% Increased Reach

A study conducted by the Liverpool Echo claimed that Facebook’s Instant Articles feature were resulting in a 30% increased reach.

Some basic terminology might as well be discussed before we delve into the ramifications of this discovery. Instant Articles launched in 2015, and was touted as an evolution of article display on the social network’s interface. As Facebook partnered with multiple news and media outlets, publications could choose certain articles to be shared to the Instant Articles feature. This would result in the full article showing up on Facebook’s wall, with a display closely resembling that of its original host website short of minor whittling down to produce a minimalistic product. Starting off the launch with a myriad of impressive names, the likes of National Geographic, BBC News, The Guardian, and Buzzfeed, it was met with a disappointing opening run as these very publishers posted a minuscule number of articles. In turn, Facebook decided to turn up the heat and actively promote the feature.

Other than actively beefing up the number of publishers being collaborated with (Facebook’s own figures estimate that 5,700 publishers either newly pursued or actively reverted to the feature), the social media platform’s investing in functional tweaks to make the Instant Articles interface worth everyone’s time. A bold claim from the tech company stated that the interface would load articles ten times faster than any normal publication on the app; a claim that the Wall Street Journal corroborated. Instant Articles is also currently compatible with Google Analytics, comScore, and Omniture, allowing journalists to actively map out the amount of progress their hard work is making. This very feature is where Liverpool Echo enters the ring.

Liverpool Echo, a Welsh newspaper publication based in Liverpool, decided to test how much these very tweaks were helping out Instant Articles’ case. Which is a fair question to raise, considering the feature’s rocky start. Although further bolstering the study’s necessity was Echo’s parent company Reach wanting to quantify the benefits of using the feature. Utilizing analytics regarding advertising revenue combined with engagement, Liverpool Echo came to the astonishing result that Instant Articles publications displayed a 30% increase in reach as opposed to any other post on the platform.

Much of this could easily be chalked up to the impressively short loading time Instant Articles get, as opposed to Facebook’s normal fodder. While the tech company has actively avoided giving Articles any sort of advantage, or boosting their presence in News Feeds across the platform, all it really takes is a smoother loading process combined with advertisements not interrupting said process. This revelation could very well see Instant Articles gaining a lot of momentum in the coming months, as publications all try to jump on the bandwagon before it leaves the station.


Read next: Facebook boasts that its Instant Articles adoption among publishers is growing

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