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Publishing on Facebook’s Instant Articles is about to get way easier with a WordPress plugin

(Poynter, 3/7/16)

PNConnect Insight – Using Automattic’s plugin, publishers can create normal WordPress posts same as before but now generate Instant Articles on the fly and make them available for Facebook as a special RSS feed. The web can be very slow on mobile, and a service like this can pre-fetch articles so that when you go to read them in your Facebook app they are already loaded and ready to go. Keep in mind Instant Articles are checked for formatting by Facebook, that if you use meta fields those will need to be added to the Instant Articles output too and more.

On the one hand, this is a simple solution that eases cross-publishing, allowing you to maintain your core, owned site while also distributing content to Facebook, which continues to give natively posted material preferential News Feed treatment. On the other hand, doing so trains readers that they don’t *have* to come to your site, since they can get the stories they want to read right on Facebook, which has the potential to do long-term harm to your brand. Remember that Facebook is going to do what’s best for Facebook (as most companies do), so put some thought into the pros and cons of this approach before rushing to adopt.

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Via Poynter


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