Today, Facebook is launching its Instant Articles feature for Android users in India. Allowing publishers in the country to create articles that load instantly inside the Facebook app rather than loading a webpage from the app.
The social network is partnering with major publishers such as Aaj Tak, India Today, The Quint, Hindustan Times, and The Indian Express to intrigue Indian users with instantly loading articles.
Instant Articles features was initially launched in the US for iOS only, with publishers such as The New York Times, National Geographic, Buzzfeed, and more.
Instant Articles feature allows publishers to create articles with high resolution images, videos that auto-play as your scroll, interactive maps, audio captions, as well as comments to individual sections of an article.
The major benefit of this features is the speed it takes to load an article within the app, well from its name – instantly, which according to Facebook is ten times faster than it takes to load a normal webpage in the app.
Instant load time for content on Facebook will help the company keep users stay engaged within the app, and provide better user experience for users in markets such as India as Internet speed is one of the major issues in the country. With this, articles will load quickly even on slow networks such as 2G.
As part of the announcement, Michael Reckhow, Instant Articles product manager said,
We at Facebook are really excited to be rolling out Instant Articles in India on Monday. We are working with a publisher ecosystem that is varied and we are excited to see how this product will resonate with Facebook users and publishers in India. Source: LiveMint
Additionally, the reason for launching first on Android than iOS in India is that the country is one of the major markets for Android, while India being the second largest for Facebook itself.
We are launching in India on Android as the country is a heavy Android user market. Besides, Android is designed to be fast, so articles load quickly on Android and thus can be quickly read.
Instant Articles launch in India, the feature will be help Facebook monitor how the content is being consumed in the Indian market before bringing additional publishers on board by next year 2016.
This announcement comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent visit to the country discussing issues relating its Free Basics initiative in the country, as well as Facebook planning to install WiFi hotspots across the country.