Fairfax Media has become the first local publisher to utilise Facebook Instant Articles in Australia and New Zealand following today’s announcement of a launch partnership between the two companies.
The partnerships will see Fairfax share a significant amount of articles from The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Stuff.co.nz on Instant Articles as part of the global rollout of the platform.
Instant Articles allows titles to publish directly onto the social media platform and offers a range of tools including auto-play videos, interactive maps, and audio captions.
It was launched for the iPhone in October and has a number of publishing partners in the northern hemisphere including The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC News and Buzzfeed.
The platform also improves the speed at which news stories can be viewed on mobile by up to 10 times, compared to standard mobile web articles.
Fairfax’s editorial director for Australian Metro Media Sean Aylmer said Instant Articles would deliver Fairfax’s growing Facebook audience an immediate, engaging and radically improved mobile experience.
“We are taking advantage of innovative new technologies – including Instant Articles – to maximise the audience reach of our journalism and enhance the experience our audiences have with our content,” he said.
“Our strategic partnership with Facebook underlines the tremendous mobile innovation happening at Fairfax and our unrelenting commitment to putting audiences at the centre of our publishing model.”
Fairfax mastheads are exploring ways to monetise the display and pre-roll advertising on the Facebook platform.
Facebook’s managing director of Australia and New Zealand Stephen Scheeler said the rollout of Instant Articles locally was a significant milestone for the platform and its early launch partners.
“Internationally, publishers are already sharing thousands of Instant Articles on Facebook each day, and looking ahead we’re excited to partner with more publishers here to bring the Instant Articles experience to more people,” he said.
Instant articles is expected to be rolled out to Android users later this year.