Facebook to expand revenue opportunities on Instant Articles

Based on what the social media giant calls positive results, Facebook is now opening the 'related articles' section in Instant Articles to a wider set of publishers in a bid to expand monetization for the hosts.

Based on what the social media giant calls positive results on Instant Articles, Facebook is now opening the 'related articles' section to a wider set of publishers in a bid to expand monetization for the content creators.

Facebook began testing ad units a few months ago in the related articles section at the bottom of Instant Articles with a certain select set of publishers. The test was a part of the 'The Facebook Journalism Project' started to strengthen ties with the news industry. Harshit Agarwal, Product Manager at Facebook claims in a blog post that Instant Articles now pays out more than 1 million dollars per day to publishers via the website audience network.

"In the last 6 months alone, RPM, or revenue per 1,000 page views, that publishers see from Facebook Audience Network in Instant Articles has increased by over 50 percent," says Agarwal. The new test includes a native ad unit in Instant Articles, which attempts to serve relevant ads to users.

Despite the fact that Instant Articles delivers between 20 percent to 50 percent more traffic, compared to mobile Web content, the initiative has reportedly fallen out of favour with some publishers. As reported by The Verge, following two years of experimenting with Instant Articles, publishers in the U.S. including the 'The New York Times', which had been a partner for Instant Articles from its inception, have abandoned the platform.

To address these concerns, Agarwal mentioned that Facebook is developing new features to help publishers build deeper relationships with audiences through call-to-action units and increased ad monetization. He also clarifies how these developments are making an instant impact on publishers by writing, "We now have over 10,000 publishers around the world using Instant Articles, growing over 25 percent in the last six months alone. More than a third of all clicks to articles on Facebook are now to Instant Articles."

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