Facebook is beginning to roll out a tool for publishers using Instant Articles to measure how their articles perform compared to the mobile web equivalents. In the past they shared this measurement across all Instant Articles publishers, and they worked closely with their partners over the last few months to develop a way for publishers to see this comparison for themselves. This insight provides an important signal publishers can use to make informed business decisions about how they share content on Facebook.
Facebook worked with Nielsen, the global measurement leader, to validate our methodology for measuring the traffic lift Instant Articles publishers are seeing. See the documentation for more details about our metrics and calculation methodologies. The new tool will be available to publishers who have published enough Instant Articles and mobile web versions to measure the difference. In the coming months we plan to add more metrics to the tool to help track Instant Articles performance.
How do Instant Articles perform?
Facebook have found that people are less likely to bounce when articles load fast, more likely to share Instant Articles than mobile web links, and on average people read more articles when they see Instant Articles in their News Feed*. The latest analysis indicates that these trends have held true as the program has grown — and this new tool will enable individual publishers to see and evaluate data specific to their articles.
The analysis reveals other variables and effects that play into Instant Articles’ overall impact on referral traffic from Facebook. Here are the highlights, or you can dive deeper into these variables and effects here:
- Competition for attention in News Feed drives people to easy to consume formats.
- News cycles often contribute to swings in link traffic overall.
- Regional differences influence traffic results across regions and markets.
- Regional variances in mobile traffic are attributed to variables like network connectivity and mobile device.
- People’s propensity to click on Instant Articles is correlated to the volume of Instant Articles they see from a publisher.
Last month they shared data on the momentum many Instant Articles publishers are seeing in monetization value coming from the format. Over 10,000 publishers around the world are now using Instant Articles, and more than a third of all clicks to articles on Facebook are to Instant Articles.
They're encouraged by the growth and momentum we see in the program and are continuing to invest in improvements that create business value for our partners. We’re now testing new recirculation units and surfaces and will share more on those explorations in the coming weeks.
*”Nielsen Custom Instant Article Study”, A Nielsen study commissioned by Facebook, July 2017.