Publishers prepare to ramp up news distribution on Facebook’s Instant Articles

Both outlets are prepared to start publishing as early as Thursday, but are waiting for when Facebook is ready. NBC News plans to post between 30 and 40 articles a day to the stream in the coming days, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

“We’re excited for the next phase. At the outset we’ll be putting most of our content into the feed and will closely monitor the effect,” said Bob Cohn, president and chief operating officer at the Atlantic. “We are ready to change how much we make available.”

BuzzFeed intends to publish as much content as possible to the Facebook stream, according to Chief Executive Jonah Peretti. At first, Facebook has said it plans to make the articles visible to only select groups of users to see how they react, according to Mr. Peretti.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the program will begin soon, but declined to provide further details. Several publishers did single-article trial runs in May.

By publishing articles directly to Facebook through Instant Articles instead of linking back to their own websites, publishers hope to increase the exposure of their content on the social networking service, especially on mobile devices, and improve load time.  Under Facebook’s new program, publishers will get to keep 100 per cent of revenue brought in from ads that they sell and 70 per cent if Facebook sells the ad.

The Atlantic has already signed up AMC’s upcoming sci-fi TV show “Humans” to advertise alongside its Instant Article offerings, said Mr. Cohn.

Kinsey Wilson, the New York Times editor for innovation and strategy, said the paper intends to sell all the ads running with its stories itself, rather than having Facebook sell the ads.

“We believe we can command a rate similar to what we get for an ad on our own site,” Mr. Wilson said.

Source: WSJ Blogs

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