Apple News vs. Facebook Instant Articles: How they compare
Just last month, Facebook launched a similar product, Instant Articles, with nine news publishers including the Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic.
Here’s how the two compare:
Both companies have a fraught history of working with publishers, and their new products seem aimed at improving that relationship. A rundown: Newsstand, Apple’s dedicated home for newspaper and magazine apps, has disappointed. Publishers have complained that it’s hard to get noticed among the 14,000 apps in the Newsstand unless they’re featured by Apple. Even if they’re discovered, it was hard to get people to come back because the app stopped giving users visual cues that a new edition of a publication is available, which was important to driving return visits for publishers.
Facebook’s year-old Paper app, a tool to navigate the news feed, has been slow to gain users. As an increasingly important driver of traffic to publisher sites, Facebook has given publishers reason to be cautious, as it can cut off that traffic with the tweak of an algorithm. Recently, Facebook said it would favour friends’ over publishers’ content, meaning the latter would be less likely to appear in users’ feeds.
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