Facebook partners with nine media companies on ‘Instant Articles’

With a growing number of people turning to Facebook to read news articles, the company introduced a new tool Wednesday that allows media outlets to directly publish stories on the social network.

The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild have partnered with Facebook on the launch of “Instant Articles” despite concerns that the new tool could drive traffic away from their news websites and hurt their business.

But with 1.4 billion people using Facebook every month, publishers also see it as an opportunity to get their stories to reach a wider audience.

“The New York Times already has a significant and growing audience on Facebook. We’re participating in Instant Articles to explore ways of growing the number of Times users on Facebook, improving their experience of our journalism and deepening their engagement,” said Mark Thompson, President and CEO of The New York Times Company in a statement published on a Facebook blog post about the new product.

Facebook said the new tool will also make loading news articles on the social network faster and more interactive for users.

On a mobile app, loading a news story will be 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles, Facebook said. On average, it takes about eight seconds for a story to load. Instant Articles also includes various features such as interactive maps and audio captions.

About 64 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook and half of those users get news there, according to the Pew Research Center.

Photo Credit: Facebook

 

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