Facebook Instant Articles: what is and how to set up your website

Sales Funnel: what it is, what it is for and how to put it together
Understanding your site’s top traffic sources

Have you ever given up on opening a Facebook link on their phone because it took too long to load?

I have. And it was not just once, were several.

Now put yourself in the opposite place.

How many times your audience may have given up on opening a link from your website on Facebook because it took to load?

Perhaps the fault is not his (it may be that your site is not slow) but the person’s own connection.

One way to fix this problem are the Facebook Instant Articles.

In this article, you will know what they are, why use them, how to make the setting on your site and how to analyze the results.

What are Facebook Instant Articles?

If you opened the post for some application for mobile devices Facebook, you’re probably already reading in Instant Article format.

The literal translation is “snapshots articles”. In fact, the name fulfills the promise, as are links that open on time on your phone as if you had not gone out of Facebook.

And that’s it: you do not go out of Facebook.

An Instant Article is an HTML5 document that loads quickly within the application itself, without taking the user to the company’s website.

Maybe here you ask, but this does not affect my metrics ? Calm down, we have to get there, below I speak it.🙂

With Instant Articles, the page has a predefined format for Facebook, but displays the same content.

How to identify an Instant Article

An Instant Article is featured with a small lightning bolt below the title on the link. In the image below is an example:

facebook instant articles

In Brazil, Instant Articles arrived at the end of 2015.

Check out the launch video of the feature here:

In addition to the Digital results, several other pages use the Instant Articles in their publications, as Buzzfeed, BBC, Mashable, The Guardian, examination and more.

Why use Instant Articles: some reasons you need to know

The biggest advantage of using Instant Article on your site is that it is much faster to load and offers a much better user experience.

Take a test. Open an article and another without Instant Article and notice the difference in speed.

To be hosted within Facebook, it can not not be faster.

This in itself is a great benefit to your site.

now putting the advantages in numbers, we have some data from Facebook itself, showing that Instant Articles have:

  • Load 10 times faster;
  • Average reading texts increases by 20%;
  • 70% less likely to give the user the article;
  • 30% more chances of you share the article;
  • Videos that play automatically (autoplay);
  • Easy to zoom in on images.

Tutorial: how to configure Instant Articles on your website in 6 steps

Start using Instant Articles on your website is not as complicated as it may seem. The biggest obstacle is neither the number of steps, but the time it takes to approve the Facebook and the requirement that the links are in perfect formatting.

Basically, the steps you need to follow are:


1. Register fanpage on Instant Articles

Follow the link https://www.facebook.com/instant_articles/signup to make your application.

In this step, you will select which page you want to use to access the Instant Articles tools.

facebook instant articles

After the registration done, it’s time to start creating articles and prepare them for the analysis of Facebook.

Automatically, you will be directed to that page, which contains all the links and information on the next steps (but calm, let’s talk here as well as do):

facebook instant articles

2. Connect your site

You will need to authorize your site to begin importing Instant Articles. This can be done manually or with a WordPress plugin.

In the first option, you must add the meta tag that is indicated on your configuration page Instant Article to the <head> tag in the HTML code of your site.

To connect with WordPress, you need to download and install a plugin on your blog. In step 4 no details about it.

Follow the next steps:

  • enter the URL of your website in the field provided and click “claim URL”;
  • connect the RSS feed production and development. Usually, this address is seusite.com/?feed=instant_articles.

3. Create style templates

Customize the look and experience of your articles with the Style Editor.

You can customize the style template of Instant Articles so that they reflect the look of your brand.

The tool is easy to use and there are a number of recommendations and tips on Facebook itself https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instant-articles/design/creating-styles link.

4. Create the first items with Articles Instant WordPress plugin

Now is the time you will need to format the items and import them using API , RSS or WordPress plugin.

What I will recommend here is the plugin, which is the simplest and quickest way:

1. To get started, download the plugin on the link https://br.wordpress.org/plugins/allfacebook-instant-articles/ and install on your WordPress. This is the plugin that we use in the RD blog and has worked very well;

2. With the plugin installed, enter the ID number of your Facebook page. This number you find in the “Connect your site” of the Articles Instant setup screen.

facebook instant articles plugin

3. Enter your Google Analytics code in the Google field Tracking plugin ID. That way you will be able to measure the results of Instant Articles.

facebook instant articles wordpress plugin and Google analytics

4. Ready! You can move to the next phase, which is …

5. Send submissions for review

Once created or imported its first articles, you need to send them for analysis.

Facebook requires a small sample to see if the items are configured properly. Always check if they are correct before shipment to avoid rework.

Some of the most common mistakes are no right and no captions on images.

You will be alerted if Facebook to meet other errors and Articles require some modifications to be approved. The analysis takes between 3 and 5 days.

6. Start publishing

If the items are not approved, you need to change them and send it back for analysis until they are accepted.

But, once approved, you are able to use the Instant Articles. With the right settings, the posts will be imported into the Facebook and published in the new format.

Important: at least when we implemented the Instant Articles in the RD blog, it only cost for new posts published after installing the plugin, or updated posts.

That is, if you go into WordPress and update any information of a post, it will be imported and turned into Instant Article.

The Instant Articles will be automatically published on the Facebook fanpage?

Not automatically, but every time you publish an article on your fanpage , users who are connected on Facebook by a mobile application will display the content in Instant Article format.

Therefore, the tool does not publish automatically, but turns the posts in this format when the link is published.

How to analyze the results of Instant Articles in Google Analytics

A very common question anyone thinking of installing Instant Articles is the analysis. I can have the same depth of analysis than normal posts? Lose data by the fact that this format does not send users to my site but leaves them on Facebook?

With the correct configuration of the plugin mentioned above, you can analyze all traffic but the Instant Articles on your site in Google Analytics .

There is a simple way to do this.

To know how much of your traffic comes from the Instant Articles, follow the path Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Source / Medium. Pay attention to the origin “Instant Article.”

Click this origin and on the next screen select the secondary dimension “landing page”. The report will be deployed and will show the results by pages of your site.

Instant Article - Google Analytics

And then? It pays to use the Instant Articles?

Our experience with Instant Articles has been very satisfactory, mainly because it focuses on content format, first of all, nothing in the user.

What is much talked about is in relation to conversions. Some companies end up suffering with it and having fewer conversions than your pages.

This is because the format does not allow the use of banners, as many sites use. In this case, the only means of conversion is to create CTAs in text.

But you can also use native CTAs Instant Articles.

There are 3 types:

  • CTA to enjoy the page
  • CTA to download an application
  • CTA for mail registration

In our case, we chose the CTA for email registration, which is what makes sense for our business.

This way, you can continue to generate conversions and further improve the user experience on your site.

Is that you? I have tested Instant Articles on your site? Tell in the comments as has been your experience with the tool.

Enjoy and read more about how to use Facebook for your company. Download the free eBook Introduction to Marketing on Facebook and meet best practice to start generating business in the most popular social network on the planet.