Facebook is seeking to ditch its middleman status in the world of online news with the launch of Instant Articles, a publishing platform which will allow the social network to directly host publisher’s stories and content.
BuzzFeed, National Geographic, NBC News and The New York Times have all signed up to the experiment which will see the publishers host their content on Facebook directly rather than their own platforms.
Facebook believes that such native content will improve its user experience and is developing a suite of mobile friendly features to improve functionality further; including zoom and tilt, videos, captions and in-line comments.
Explaining its move Facebook argues that many mobile sites are poor opening up an opportunity for it although what’s in it for the publishers isn’t quite so clear, as their readers migrate to Facebook, although the network says partners will be able to sell ads on its network.
In a statement Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox said: “Instant Articles lets them (publishers) deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”