Facebook has officially begun hosting news content from the likes of the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, with the first story being a NatGeo story about bees.
A total of nine media companies have agreed to the deal, which will see news content posted directly to Facebook, with users being able to avoid being directed to other websites.
"As more people get their news on mobile devices, we want to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook. People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app," said product manager Michael Reckhow in a blog post. "To date, however, these stories take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as 10 times faster than standard mobile Web articles."
Many suggest that this new feature could be the future of news on the Internet, with the likes of Facebook trying harder and harder to keep users on the Facebook.com domain. The reason for this is that Facebook is able to make more money from advertising this way.
Many publishers are a little worried that Facebook will steal business that publishers have created on the Internet, not only keeping users on the Facebook.com domain, but also eliminating the need for many users to search for topics themselves, with publishers getting a large chunk of their Web traffic through search.
Facebook has, however, said that it will be giving publishers much of the revenue made from advertising on the pages that these articles are published, instead wanting to create a better user experience than make more money. Of course, if a user does read an article on Facebook, it is more likely that they will click through to other pages on Facebook, meaning that the company will make money from advertising.
In fact, Facebook actually is allowing publishers to sell and embed ads on the pages that host articles of theirs, meaning that they will keep all of the revenue. They can also have Facebook advertise, in which case Facebook will keep 30 percent of the revenue.
"Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook" said chief product officer Chris Cox. "Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models."
Despite the fact that it may hurt publishers, Facebook's changes are sure to be great for users, who will be able to much more easily navigate to news articles.