Facebook boosts Instant Articles for publishers as part of its Journalism Project

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Facebook has just improved its Instant Articles advertising feature for publishers by letting them add more adverts into each Instant Article. Previously, adverts could appear every 350 words, but that has now been amended to every 250 words.

The move is part of the Facebook Journalism Project, which aims to work more tightly with publishers in order to become the leading source of ad traffic.

As part of the Journalism Project, Facebook wants to get publishers and partners together to develop new products, including new storytelling formats which extend the Live 350 and Instant Articles formats.

In addition, the company is focusing on local news to connect communities and drive local initiatives. Another key area for collaboration will be emerging businesses.

Facebook says that it recently partnered with German tabloid BILD to test free subscription trials for readers. That’s just one of many initiatives the social media network is planning.

Hackathons are also on the list, which could bring together engineers globally to collaborate and identify hack solutions.

In addition, the Journalism Project will offer training as part of an e-learning package to journalists globally.

Facebook says it recently acquired a tool to surface and monitor stories called CrowdTangle, which it has now made freely available for its partners to use. In addition, it will be bringing live video API capabilities to Pages.

News verification has also been given a boost by partnering with the First Draft Partner Network that helps to find and verify sources such as eyewitnesses.

Following its backlash over fake news late last year, Facebook plans to promote news literacy to help communities figure out which sources they can trust. It also launched a programme to work with third-party fact checking organisations which are part of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles to spot fake news.

Publishers are an important driver of content on Facebook. It’s questionable if the latest initiative can give them enough power and freedom to oversee their monetisation strategies, but it’s certainly a start.