If you are a blogger like me! then you might have heard about Instant Articles by Facebook. If not then Instant Articles is the application of Facebook which allows your article loads up to 10 times faster than a web page of your website. That’s cool, right? If you are a blogger or news/media channel then this is the good option for you. So, stick with this article & I’ll share you some great things about Facebook Instant Articles with its pros and cons & how to setup Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress website.
What is Facebook Instant Articles?
Facebook Instant Articles is the feature of Facebook that allows your article loads up 10 times faster by using customized mobile format. It loads up 10 times faster than a normal web page. So, your readers can easily read your article without going to your website. Overall it provides the better user experience. There are many popular websites using Facebook Instant Articles on their website. Like TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, Mashable etc. So, it’s a good option for them who write their own articles. If you are following these website’s Facebook page then you might have seen lighting icon at the upper right corner of the article. If you press that icon then the article converts into the customized mobile format and then you can easily read that article.
Pros & Cons of Facebook Instant Articles
All the good thing in the world have pros & cons then why not for Facebook Instant Articles? And you should know about it before applying for the Facebook Instant Articles.
- If your content loads up fast then the readers can easily read your content. So, it gives better user experience.
- Your article loads up fast so the readers can easily share it with their groups or to their friends. So, you will get more exposure.
- More than 3 Billion people are using Facebook, so if your article is great and people will love it then you will get a high amount of referral traffic to your website from Facebook.
- If you are sharing one of your article on your Facebook page then chances of getting more reach to your article & your Facebook page are high.
- Now, Facebook started its own monetization platform which is called Audience Network. So, your content is advertisers friendly or provide high value to the readers then you can monetize your page and earn money from it.
- If you are living in those places where internet connectivity is weak compared to other cities then you don’t need a good internet connection to read these articles.
- Your Ads
can’t be seen by people on Facebook Instant Articles. It is the biggest con of Facebook Instant Articles.
- People can only see the article, not sidebar, header & footer. So, if you place any newsletter signup box or featured articles or something that is important to you will not see by people.
- If you are serving tutorials or step-by-step method article then this is not for you because Facebook doesn’t allow videos or photos on Facebook Instant Articles.
- If you are using shortcodes to generate sign up form, content form or something then this will not be displayed in the article.
So, these are some pros and cons. Now, it’s upon you to choose this Facebook Instant Articles or not. If you are the blog then you should consider using this on your WordPress website.
Requirements for Setting up Facebook Instant Articles:
There are 7 things you should have to use Facebook Instant Articles which are given below;
- More than 10 Article on Your Website/Blog
- Facebook Page for Your WordPress website
- Create Facebook Page App [Optional]
- Instant Articles for WP Plugin
- Payment Details [Optional]
- Submit for Review
- Insert Ads into Instant Articles
Now, you are ready to apply for Facebook Instant Articles.
How to Setup Facebook Instant Articles for WordPress
Sign up for Facebook Instant Articles:
You should visit the Facebook Instant Articles & click on Sign up to create an account. The new page will open in the new tab. Now select your WordPress website page and then agree to the Instant Articles terms. Now, choose Access Instant Articles Tools.
You will see the publishing tools tab on your Facebook Page & new section called Instant Articles added. Now, 1st thing you have to do is prove the ownership of your website by choosing to Authorise Your Site. Click on Authorise Your Site & copy that code into the head section of your website.
Login to your WordPress dashboard. You should use Insert Header and Footer plugin to add HTML code into your website. Paste the code into the head section and Save Changes. Again goto the publishing tools on your Facebook page & paste your website URL. Now, click on Claim URL. If you get the confirmation that means you claim the ownership of the domain/website. And If you don’t then try again in after some time.
Now, you should add an Instant Articles RSS Feed for your website. For that, you have to log in again to your WordPress dashboard. Install & activate Instant Articles for WP plugin. After activation of the plugin, you should just copy /feed/instant-articles and the URL of your website URL. i.e https://www.lokesharyan.com/feed/instant-articles
Now, copy your new URL and open publishing tools of your Facebook page and paste it into Production RSS Feed & Save. Once you get the successful message that means your RSS Feed URL is added and It will refresh automatically every hour.
Set up Facebook Instant Articles WordPress Plugin
In the last step, we instant Instant Articles for WP plugin and generate RSS Feed URL. Now, you should set up Facebook Instant Articles plugin. For that go to the Plugins section and find the Instant Articles for WP and go to the Settings. Now, you will see this plugin needs the Facebook Page ID. You can copy from Tools – Connect Your Site – Facebook Page ID. Save Changes and you were done with Instant Articles for WP plugin!
Read More: 23 Best WordPress Plugins for 2017
How to Create Facebook App on Your Page?
This is an optional step but in the last update of Instant Articles for WP plugin, You need App Key & Secret Key to verify your plugin. But in this update, you only need Facebook Page ID to verify. If you want to create Facebook App for more functionality then you should create otherwise when you apply for Facebook Audience Network program then they automatically create Facebook App for your page. You only need to add some details and add a payment method to it. So, the choice is yours!
1st of all you should visit, Facebook For Developers and Add a New App. Or you can create from the My App drop-down menu. Enter the Display name & Contact email & Create an App ID. Now, your Facebook Page App is created. Go to the Dashboard where you will find Facebook App ID & Secret Key. Please do not share this information with anyone. Click on the Settings and choose Apps for Pages in category & Save Changes.
Before you copy these keys, 1st of all you have to make this app live. For that go to the App Review on the left side. Now, make your app live by toggle the button. You will get the message like your app is live. Now, you are ready to copy those keys and paste into Instant Articles for WP plugin.
Setup Style for Your Instant Articles
Go to the publishing tools of your Facebook page. Select Styles and you will see Facebook provides a default style for your website. Click on default to see it. If you like the default then Save otherwise customize it. You can add the logo, background color, title, subtitle and much more. Once you did with customizing then Save. Now you are ready to submit your Instant Article Feed for review.
How to Submit Instant Articles Feed for Review?
As I said earlier, you need at least 10 article in your feed before submitting Instant Articles Feed for review. If you have 10 articles then go to the Step 2 and click on Submit for Review button. But if it shows you don’t have an article in your feed then login to your WordPress dashboard and update your articles. Now, again goto Facebook Instant Articles and refresh the page and you will see, now you can submit articles for review. The Facebook team needs 3-5 days to reviewing and approving your articles. And after that Instant Articles will available for your website. But before submitting, you should set up Facebook Audience Network.
For that, you should go to the publisher tools of your Facebook Page – Instant Articles – Configuration – Tools – Audience Network. Agree the Facebook Audience Network’s terms and condition & Get Started.
There 2 options, 1st is you can transfer your earnings to your bank account & 2nd is PayPal. Enter your bank details & you can also add more than one account.
Once you did with Facebook Audience Network then you can submit your articles now. For that go to publishing tools & click on Submit For Review. Now you are ready to go!
Once your articles are approved then you can publish it. For that, select the articles which you want to make life and select publish under Action drop-down menu. Now, you can see, all selected articles are live now.
How to Insert Ads into the Facebook Instant Articles?
Make sure you can insert ads into the Facebook Instant Articles only when your articles are published. Now, login to Facebook For Developers and open your app.
Select Audience Network under Products. Click on Placements and Create Ad Placement. Enter the name of the ad and Save. Now, you have 2 choices, 1st is copied the Placement ID and paste it into WordPress plugin but for that, you should have the WordPress website otherwise 2nd method is to click on Get Code and paste it into each article manually.
1st is Ad Type, choose Facebook Audience Network. Paste your Placement ID into the next tab & choose the Ad Dimensions. Once you were done click on Save and that’s it! If you are using other platforms then copy that Ad Code and go to the Instant Articles – Configuration – Production Articles. Now, choose any articles (for example) and Edit. It will open something like coding but don’t worry paste that code wherever you want & Save. That’s it. It takes 24 hours to live.
That’s it! I hope you like this article. Thumbs if you did and share if you love. Leave your comments below and share your experience on Facebook Instant Articles with me.
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Also published on Medium.