Facebook Instant Articles Coming to More Publishers Soon. And…?
On April 12, Facebook says, it will open up its Instant Articles platform to all publishers. I haven’t taken much advantage of this platform from the initial group of large publishers with current access, but it is fair to say it has worked well enough for broader use.
The broadening of Instant Articles does bring with it several questions.
- Will brands be able to take advantage? I sensed some initial excitement that “everyone” will get to play with this new toy (or at least, to some overenthusiastic bloggers, brands), but it seems (almost) clear that Instant Articles will only be available to publishers: just a whole bunch more of them. So is this a revolution in content marketing? Not in the sense of marketing original content from brands, at least not yet.
- Is it worth it to put this much effort into a platform you don’t own? If you do have access, how much energy do you put into it? What do you get from it? It may be slick and there may be millions of potential readers, but the April 12 land rush means a lot more competition for attention (I will NOT call it “content shock”), and publishers need to weigh the effort needed versus the return, either in site traffic, advertising, or other important metrics.
- Has Facebook won the internet if this catches on? If I like to read articles there, I am won over. That has not happened yet.
- Will it be hard to do? Sites running WordPress already have a plugin to make sure posts are compatible as Instant Articles, so for some folks probably not. Also, a WordPress plugin implies a wider group of qualified users than professional publishers, but that remains to be seen.
As with everything, I’m not getting too excited but will be interesting to see how it changes my media experience.
Why we keep doing this
Writer John Biggs nails down why we write even if most of our stuff never gets read (and he said it without using the term “content shock”). What jumped out for me:
You learn that most of what appears online goes unread. Nobody cares. Nobody will read you. The only way to make them care is to keep doing it, day after day. Write 1,000 words a day. Don’t stop. This holds true in everything. Can you write more words per day? You can, but start at 1,000. Once you do that, day after day, people will notice. Then people will read.
Biggs has an audience; I don’t. But writers will write, and we only get better (or at least fail to atrophy) by continuing to do it.
It’s Not Dead- It’s Pivoting!
Remember how Meerkat was the Next Big Thing at SXSW a few years ago? Live streaming video is still hanging on, but once Twitter bought rival Periscope it was clear, with the presumed integration with the established social platform, which competitor would win out. So, Meerkat is dead…? Oh wait it’s “pivoting” to become a “live video social network.” Stay tuned, though more than you have been I guess.
Peeple just a Glorified Vanity App Now?
Remember Peeple, the “Yelp for Peeple” that got hooted into hiding a few months ago? Well, now its back. Read this article about the app and decide for yourself if it is “awful,” but it appears that a bad idea gutted of its most abhorrent features is a bad idea that doesn’t do anything. At least it appears to be less of a mean-girls bully factory (did I say that out loud?).
SXSW Online Harassment Summit
I sometimes throw away a small item at the back of these posts, but not this time. I also tend to ignore SXSW if I’m not involved directly, but again, not this time. SXSW’s first Online Harassment Summit had what I understand to be a pretty difficult birth (and with the involvement of several friends who are better people than I am), but gave way to content that everyone should pay attention to. I am not all the way through, but encourage folks to have a look, as online harassment is a real problem, and maybe if you see a lightweight wiseacre like me give it a little light, you will too.
— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) March 12, 2016