It makes articles load faster, removes clunky ads and other kinds of bloat, and allows you to read multiple articles from different sources without having to be redirected to another app or website. Considering all of that, it’s not surprise that Facebook’s Instant Articles have been so well-received, at least in the country’s where they’re available. Fortunately, the company is hard at work securing partnerships with publishers across the globe, and it now has enough of them in Asia that it feels comfortable launching Instant Articles in a handful of Asian countries.
Facebook’s Instant Articles have reached Asia, the social network announced today. The company is rolling out a beta version of the service on iOS for select media in India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Instant articles are a way to present content from participating media within Facebook’s app, instead of the link taking you to the publisher’s site on your web browser. As you scroll down your news feed and tap on a link to an article shared by a friend, the article opens up in a clean, streamlined form, with hi-res images and auto-playing video. Normally, articles on outside websites take an average of eight seconds to open from a link on Facebook – the company calls it “by far the slowest type of content” on the platform. Instant Articles is meant to cut that down by ten times, plus deliver the content to you in a nice-looking format. Although it doesn’t work for every article a publisher posts on Facebook, the lightning bolt accompanying those posts that are Instant Articles drives that point home; who has time to wait for mobile browsers to load? Here’s a faster multimedia alternative, with things like interactive maps, audio captions, and in-line commenting on individual parts of the article – much like Medium.