Facebook has tied up with nine news publishers to launch ''Instant Articles,'' which will publish articles directly to the social network's mobile news feeds. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Facebook's newsfeed is getting even more newsy with articles directly published from a select group of media outlets. Instant Articles will let them publish directly to the social network's mobile news feeds. Users get new features like auto play and interactive maps. Emily Bell is the director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. SOUNDBITE: EMILY BELL, DIRECTOR, TOW CENTER FOR DIGITAL JOURNALISM, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY JOURNALISM SCHOOL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Facebook has 1.4 billion active users. If you can start to get your journalism in front of them, and there is an economic upside to it, I think it's going to be really hard for publishing companies to resist this. So, really, they are at the moment thinking 'let's experiment, let's see if we make any money, and if we do this may well be the biggest thing to happen to publishing you know for a long time.'" In theory, it's a logical move. Thirty percent of Americans already get their news from Facebook. What's news is that the Instant Articles will load more than ten times faster than standard mobile web articles. The publishers, which include the New York Times, Buzzfeed and National Geographic, can sell or embed advertisements in the articles and keep all the revenue. They can also have Facebook sell the ads, and give it a 30 percent cut. Facebook will also let the publishers track data and traffic through comScore and other analytics tools. SOUNDBITE: EMILY BELL, DIRECTOR, TOW CENTER FOR DIGITAL JOURNALISM, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY JOURNALISM SCHOOL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The most valuable thing you can have now as a publisher is data. It's like who is reading you, how long are they reading you for, and, then, how can you turn that data into money. And that is what Facebook does, better than anybody else in terms of online because as well as 30 percent of American adults finding their news on Facebook and that was last year, so its probably higher this year, 67 percent of what we call display advertising sold online at the moment goes through Facebook, so that is really the thing its both usage and money. " Bell says to also keep an eye on Google. They have already said they are going to start partnering with publishers in Europe.