Facebook launches tool to measure traffic from Instant Articles

Facebook has just unveiled a feature for publishers that lets them measure how articles perform on the site compared to the mobile web.

To show that publishers can indeed the get the most out of Instant Articles, the social media giant has partnered with Nielsen to launch its analytics comparison tool – available for publishers who currently have enough Instant Articles published to compare to their mobile web versions.

In order to demonstrate that Facebook Instant Articles get more traffic, the tool analyses the referral traffic from a test group of people who see Instant Article versions compared to a control group that views the web versions.

According to Facebook’s own metrics, Instant Articles are being read at different rates worldwide. For example, in the US and Canada, 25% of Facebook users click and read Instant Articles, compared to 60% in Southeast Asia and a whopping 75% in India.

One of the main problems publishers are having with Facebook is the lack of consumer relationship. Readers who journey over to a publisher’s website are arguably more engaged in following that specific publisher, compared to someone just browsing their Facebook feed and stumbling upon a story.

Facebook has been trying to remedy the problem by introducing features such as email subscription buttons. In addition, it rolled out more ads for publishers and currently tests a paid subscription feature.

Facebook says that (according to its own research), people are likely to actually read more articles as they load faster. The new tool should help publishers compare their traffic results more directly and make an informed choice about where their ad dollars should go.