Approximately 936 million people visit Facebook every day, including people who use Facebook predominately to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world.
Just two days ago Facebook launched ‘Instant Articles’, a new product for publishers to create fast interactive articles on Facebook. They have partnered with an elite group of publishers including New York Times, National Geographic and BuzzFeed who can now publish articles directly into the social networking site while maintaining control of their own content, brand and analytics; as well as being able to keep the revenue from any ads they place.
This new tool allows users to enjoy autoplay video, zoom in on high resolution photos, and play embedded audio captions that allow the user to hear the voice of the author whilst reading the story. They have even incorporated animated maps so the user can zoom in on the location that the photo was taken, recreating a personalised experience.
To top it off, this new feature now loads articles as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web, which ought to please the 4.88 billion mobile phone users worldwide. Instant Articles animated content arguably provides the richest mobile news reading experience today.
Identical content presented by The New York Times was posted on Twitter and Facebook, and it is clear that Instant Articles are significantly quicker and immediately more engaging, sparking plenty of conversation on social media.
This latest development could see Facebook advance further into Googles ‘web-space’. Renowned for their rivalry, Facebook has already over taken Google in the US to become the most popular website, and has successfully cut into Google’s advertising business.
Now that Facebook has successfully created a news platform which revolutionises the user experience and prevents users leaving their site for additional content, we can’t help but pose the question, will Facebook overtake rival Google and become the new front page of the internet?