Facebook Instant Articles Launches in Asia

December 22, 2015 - 2 minutes read

Although it’s been less than a year since Facebook Instant Articles launched in the US, the company has been aggressively pushing growth of the of the enhanced mobile app media feature. Instant Articles are now live throughout Asia, only two weeks after launching in India.

As the name suggests, Instant Articles is a Facebook feature created by a team of mobile app developers at Facebook to cut down the load times on media links within the Facebook app.

Some San Francisco mobile app developers initially speculated that the feature would see delayed growth as media partners were slow to release articles to the platform, but time has quickly proven the potential of the feature. Reaching Asia represents a huge leap forward for the mobile app developers behind Instant Articles. Says Andy Mitchell, director of global media partnerships at Facebook, “Expanding Instant Articles to Asia is a significant milestone for the product and for each of our early launch partners.”

According to a company statement, Instant Articles has been “designed to give publishers control over their stories, brand experience, and monetization opportunities. Publishers in Asia are able to sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.”

Functionality of the Instant Articles mobile app feature will be the same as the US version; marked by a lightning bolt icon within app users’ feeds, and promising the same experience blending interactive features like tilt-sensitive photo zooms, auto-play videos, and audio captions. The Asian market release of Instant Articles also includes inline commenting, allowing users to comment on particular parts of stories rather than a comments queue at the bottom — a format app developers will recognize from Medium.

As with the US release, the Asia release will be iOS-only in the first phase, expanding to Android users within several months. A full list of the Asian market media partners has been posted at VentureBeat.

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