If you use Facebook on Android, look for a lightning bolt icon on articles. Tap on it and experience the revolution.
Facebook announced that its quick-loading Instant Articles are rolling out on its Android app in a blog post Wednesday. It began testing the feature with a small number of Android users a few weeks ago, with a full launch beginning this week.
Image Courtesy:- mashable.com
Instant Articles are news articles published directly to Facebook that promise to load times 10-times faster than an external link. Facebook has partnered with 350 publications worldwide — including Mashable — to get their content directly on Facebook's mobile apps.
The feature was first tested on iOS in May, with a limited number of publishers, including theNew York Times and NBC news. A wider rollout with more than a dozen publishers began in September.
Now, Facebook touts that Instant Articles from more than 350 publishers worldwide — 100 of which are publishing daily — will be available across iOS and Android. It also says it has more publishers signing up each day.
Facebook claims Instant Articles are more widely shared than conventional links, an attempt to assuage the fears of publishers who feel they are increasingly beholden to a third-party company for traffic, and thus, revenue. An August studyrevealed Facebook as the largest driver of traffic to news sites, with nearly 43% of traffic from the 400 outlets studied coming from Facebook.
While the bulk of the 350 outlets are U.S.-based, Facebook highlights many international publishers in its blog post. The product image released to the press (featured above) features an India Today article shown on a budget Android phone.
Facebook has put much of its recent effort toward making its products better for developing markets, where broadband and data speeds are slow and more users are on mobile than desktop. It even has "2G Tuesdays" at its offices, so that its employees can gain a greater understanding of the internet in the developing world.
It already counts one billion as daily active users, but the next billion may use a very different internet than the first billion.
Instant Articles, it seems, are another way to provide a better product to all of Facebook's users, not just Western ones. While the benefits (if there are any) to publishers aren't exactly clear yet, Instant Articles provide an excellent user experience.
Facebook is pushing out Instant Articles to users who have the latest version of the Android app Wednesday.
Originally Posted on mashable.com