In your News Feed, any article with a lightning bolt in the top right corner is an Instant Article. Facebook says that all stories load 10 times faster than a standard mobile Web article.
Instant Articles also offer a more immersive experience for readers. Here are some examples from Facebook:
• Instant Articles from NBC News feature autoplay videos that come to life and begin automatically as readers scroll through the story.
• The Atlantic’s photo blog in Instant Articles lets you zoom in and explore the details of high-resolution photos just by tilting your phone.
• Readers can engage more deeply with BuzzFeed’s Instant Articles by liking and commenting on individual photos and videos throughout the story.
• Beautiful photo galleries in Instant Articles from The New York Times are seamless to swipe through.
• National Geographic’s Instant Articles let readers explore where the story happened with geo-tagged images that open interactive maps.
Some of the other publishers currently using Instant Articles include MTV, Slate, The Washington Post, Vox Media, The Huffington Post, and others. A number of other popular publishers are also slated to join the program soon.
The Facebook app is universal and designed for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad/iPad mini. It can be downloaded now on the App Store for free.
Instant Articles are an interesting addition to Facebook, and it looks to be a win for both the social network and publishers. Facebook is hoping to keep users more engaged on the service, and publishers should see increased readership.
For other app news today, see: Whitelist or blacklist sites easily with the new Handblock, EA’s Real Racing 3 puts you in the winning McLaren F1 GTR, and Put away the desktop device and scan photos with Pic Scanner.