Facebook is giving publishers new ways to reach audiences on Instant Articles

April 7, 2017
Category: Tech & Tools

Facebook announced Friday a few new ways that publishers can reach out to audiences directly through Instant Articles.

Josh Roberts, a project manager at Facebook, wrote about the new features in a blog post.

“Across the board, publishers want to have more direct lines of communication with their readers and drive the conversions that matter to their business,” he wrote.

The changes will be welcome news for publishers seeking to build stronger direct relationships with readers and viewers who consume their work on Facebook. Some newsrooms remain wary of publishing directly on Facebook with Instant Articles because the product wasn’t conceived to encourage growth in subscriptions — a major revenue driver for many news organizations.

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Today’s changes include:

– An email sign-up with flexible design options. This new option takes some work out of the process of signing up for a publisher’s newsletters, offering a one-click sign-up.

Facebook reports that Slate, which tried the call-to-action feature in beta, saw total email newsletter growth of 41 percent in two months.

– A “Page Like” call-to-action. With this feature, when someone likes a publisher’s page, they’re then “eligible to receive updates and posts from that publisher in News Feed.”

Facebook is also experimenting with two additional efforts, including a way audiences can sign up for a free subscription trial through Instant Articles. They’re also testing a way to direct readers to publishers’ mobile apps.

The changes come as part of Facebook’s Journalism Project, which has also recently started working more with local newsrooms.