A month publishing Facebook Instant Articles

It has been a bit over a month that Facebook opened up publishing Instant Articles to everyone. We jumped in early and after a few days had added the capability of publishing stories as Instant Articles to our Weave my story platform.

According to Facebook, Instant Articles receive 20% more clicks, have a 30% higher sharing rate and users are 70% more likely to read until the end. To you as a content publisher this means increase in viewership and higher circulation of existing content by just wrapping the media that you are already generating in a smarter way.

After a month of having this feature available, it is time to take a step back and measure what has been happening. I will be using a mix of our own metrics and an analysis tool called Talkwalker to share what we have found so far.

Talkwalker is a Social Data Intelligence tool that allows you to collect and visualize information about a given thema. I created a topic with the words: “Facebook Instant Article”. The first analysis I wanted to do was where in the world are Facebook Instant Articles be talked about. Talkwalker has a World Map view that I used to look for this information:

Distribution of Mentions of Facebook Instant Articles by location with zoomed in Europe

So far, not many surprises here. The US, Europe and India are the places where Instant Articles are being discussed. Now lets look at how are distribution of these results over time. Here Talkwalker allows me to show this data by the share of countries:

Mentions of Facebook Instant Articles over time and region.

Whoa! There is a big peek in India on the 18th of May. What’s going on? Here the tool also allows me to peak at the top results by reach. It seems that India’s Prime Minister Modi decided to start using Facebook Instant Articles in his web presence. This would definitely explain the peak in attention. However, attention does not automatically mean engagement. Here TalkWalker also has the means for me to dig in using the Performance graph that measures reach vs. engagement:

Reach vs. Engagement per country.

You can almost see the 4 quadrants in this image. On the bottom left, is the countries where there is low reach and low engagement. The bottom right is the high reach but low engagement corner. Here is where we can see how the move by India’s PM made the topic popular in his country, but there is no discussion going on. On the top left you see the UK with high reach but low engagement. This means that the writers in the UK have a higher reach despite being few of them. And of course, the large bubble in the top right is the US with high reach and engagement.

So, how can we use this information to promote our product? We need to reach out to either UK or USA authors or organizations promoting Instant Articles and try to get them to review our products. Again Talkwalker has a tool for us:

People and organizations writing about Facebook Instant Articles

Ever heard of Alex Stearn? Me neither. She has been posting a lot about Facebook Instant Articles, and her posts have a large reach at 900K. She will be hearing from us to see if she knows our product and if she would be willing to take it for a test drive and write about it.

Talkwalker is a great tool to give you insight on what is happening in social media, and who are the important actors driving the discussion. Finding out who the best ambassadors are for your product is just one of the many different analysis that you can do with the tool.

What about Weave my story?

Up to now I have presented data from Talkwalker about Instant Articles. You are probably wondering if implementing Instant Articles has made a difference for us. Let me show you a graph that shows our active users growth. In this graph an active user is someone who:

  • Has registered their Facebook account with us
  • Has created stories in our platform.

We placed a Google Ad with keywords relevant to creating Facebook Instant Articles and had this Ad run side by side with our existing Google Ads. The growth in active users shows an inflection point after we added this feature to our page.

Active users can use the content they already create for their Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, Twitter messages, Pinterest boards and links to Youtube videos. I say links because Facebook does not currently link Youtube videos directly into Instant Articles. If this will change in the future is to be seen.

If you want to give it a try at creating a Facebook Instant Article with our platform, you can try it for free here
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