The Latest Data on How Readers are Interacting with Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook Instant Articles are changing how readers consume news and how media publishers use and create content. We've been tracking this new publishing format to shed light on how audiences are interacting with these mobile-friendly articles and how media publishers are reaping the benefits. Find out how Instant Articles reveal users' mobile behaviors and change the game for sharing content.

Instant Articles have changed the game for media publishers on Facebook, giving them the ability to completely transform their stories and improve the mobile reading experience. The articles are minimalistic and load 10 times faster than standard web articles, making them a perfect fit for on-the-go reading. Like many of Facebook's developments, the user experience is put at the forefront, making reading articles on the channel more engaging than ever before.

So how are audiences interacting with this new format? We analyzed 26 of the largest media publishers on Facebook to find everything you need to know. 

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Instant Articles have a short engagement lifespan - they receive nearly 80% of total views on the first day.


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We found that 40% of readers tend to drop off after the first 15 seconds of opening an Instant Article, with only 3% continuing to read for at least 3 minutes. It’s more important than ever that the most critical information should appear at the top of Facebook Instant Articles. Your headlines and introductions need to be catchy, and content digestible, so readers can navigate through the article quickly. This will help to ensure they are getting the main points of the story within the first few seconds, keep their interest and keep them reading longer.

Interestingly, readers that scroll through less than 10% of the article still share it with their friends and family. This is likely a result of media publishers taking advantage of the format to create effective top-loaded Instant Articles that give away all the critical information in the headline and opening paragraphs.

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There is a direct correlation time spent reading an Instant Article and with the number of shares it receives on average. A huge spike in shares occur after readers complete at least 50% of an article - logically, readers want to ensure that the content is good enough to share.

Our Tips for Creating Facebook Instant Articles

  1. Your headline needs to be attention-grabbing. Set reader expectations. 
  2. Put all of the critical information at the top of the article - headline and opening paragraph or two. Your average reader won't spend more than 75 seconds reading it, and you want them to either like it or share.
  3. Don’t neglect the remainder of the article. Your average reader will scroll about 80% of the way in before deciding to share.
  4. Expect that you'll receive the majority of your views and shares on day 1.
  5. Monitor the performance of your articles with your audience, see what’s working and what isn’t, and continuously refine how you create and publish Instant Articles.

The Takeaway 

Facebook Instant Articles allow media publishers to get the most out of their Facebook publishing. Now that news stories are easily integrated into the Facebook user experience, mobile users can have an effortless reading experience. The data on Instant Articles reveal mobile reading habits that show audiences are spending less time reading articles even though they are sharing them on their own Timeline.



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