Facebook debuts Instant Articles on Android in India

By Money Times

Nov 18, 2015 08:58 AM EST

Facebook is a platform for social connectivity as well as for presents a ground for many advertisements and articles.

Facebook has rolled out 'Instant Articles' in India on Monday together with India Today, Quint, HT, The Indian Express and Aaajtak. The company is aiming to include more publishers in the future, with a goal to build a 'new publishing ecosystem', according to Next Big What.

'Instant Articles' is a product that was previously launched in iPhones, available in US and Europe countries. It is designed for markets with less or limited internet connectivity, enabling the users with 2G connectivity (or low connectivity) to impeccably browse their favorite articles using Facebook.

In addition, Instant Articles comes with a collection of story-telling tools that publishers can use to make articles more engaging and rich. The posts of selected publishers' will be displayed on news feeds with high-resolution pictures along with interactive features such as auto-play videos, maps, and listenable audio captions.

As mentioned by Venture Beat, Instant Articles was previously launched on IPhone in the U.S. with the following nine publications: The Atlantic, BBC News, Bild, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, National Geographic, NBC, The New York Times, and Spiegel. That number has since grown to around 20.

India was chosen as a launch market for Instant Articles on Android  because Facebook has 130 million users in the country, which presents an emerging market dominated by cheap Android devices rather than the more premium IPhones.

"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," Michael Reckhow said.

Andy Mitchell admits that "emerging markets offers a huge opportunity for us". He also added that the most important problem they are working to solve is giving Indian people access to publishing content that they discover on Facebook. Article content is relatively less heavy than other content, but issues of load time and connectivity in a market like India (and other emerging markets) provide a company like Facebook a huge opportunity to make this content more easily accessible, as mentioned by Live Mint.

Mitchell said: "We think a lot about this. Instant Articles is built to work in the way that mobile works and addresses those issues (of connectivity) that people face on mobile and, therefore, works fast and better. Bringing technology to publishers to make their content more appealing and easily accessible to readers is just the start and we will invest more in making this available to a whole host of publishers."

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