Have you noticed something different about Facebook Mobile? Probably not. This change is so subtle that it could totally go unnoticed, but it’s actually a really big deal. It’s called “Instant Articles,” and it’s a new feature that could transform Facebook from just a place to see updates from friends to a hub of social and breaking news.
So what is it? Essentially, it’s a tiny symbol in the top right corner of specific stories that show up on their newsfeed. By “specific” I mean news articles that have been posted or shared from participating outlets.
When you click the symbol, which is a small lightening bolt, the article loads ten times faster than any other link posted on the website. Connecting with and reading news is easier than ever before.
But that’s not all. Many platforms have partnered with Facebook on this feature, and from this has sprouted a lot of unique options for enhancing your news-reading experience. For instance, articles from NBC News will auto-play videos as you scroll. The Atlantic lets you zoom in on photos simply by tilting your phone. National Geographic’s images will be geo-tagged, and if you click on them, they’ll open in a map.
It’s seriously news like you’ve never experienced it. Fast, interactive, and user-friendly. This new feature is fully available to all iPhone users, and should be coming to Android later this year, although it’s currently available in public beta for those who just can’t wait to try it out.
You can check out Facebook’s blog post here for more info, and get a look at exactly which publications will have this fun new option.
(Image via Facebook)