Facebook’s Instant Articles service is now available to iPhone users, who will be able to load certain stories in their news feed “ten times faster than a standard mobile web article”.
The social media giant said Instant Articles also “provide a richer reading experience than standard mobile web articles, with features that make the content more fluid, interactive and immersive.”
When Facebook first unveiled the service in May, it said it had partnered with nine publishers, including the New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, NBC and The Atlantic.
Now it has revealed more details, saying users will be able to see autoplay videos from NBC, while The Atlantic’s photo blog lets them zoom in and explore the details of high-resolution photos by tilting their phone.
Users will also be able to like and comment on individual photos and videos in BuzzFeed’s Instant Articles, while National Geographic’s Instant Articles includes geo-tagged images that open interactive maps.
The company has been beta testing the service with a small group of people on Facebook for iPhone for a few months, and says it encourages “people to share Instant Articles with their friends more often than they do with standard web articles”.
More than that, it seems the service is aimed at encouraging users to stay within the app rather than have a link to a news story take them to an external site.
Instant Articles for Android will launch later this year, with a public beta available this week.
Facebook plans on partnering with many more publishers in the future, such as Business Insider, Entertainment Weekly, The Verge and Fox Sports.