With the news that it will stop offering Instant Articles in April 2019, Facebook keeps moving away from news content in favour of entertaining videos (like those on TikTok).
Why Meta Ended Instant Articles?
Instant Articles were first introduced in 2015. They were made to give publishers a faster, more interesting way to show their articles on Facebook, which would help readers spend more time in the app. In the years since, Meta has also tried to add more referral link and subscription tools as part of its ongoing effort to get along better with publishers and help them use Facebook as a supplement to their main sites.
But it seems like building relationships with publishers is less important now.
Axios reported that Meta will stop supporting Instant Articles as it tries to better meet the needs of its users, who increasingly find video to be the most interesting type of content.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, recently said that 50% of all time spent on Facebook is spent watching videos, and that Reels are the type of content that is growing the fastest on both Facebook and Instagram. Zuckerberg has also said that Facebook users:
“don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services.”
Meta is working to get more entertaining video content into user feeds. These feeds are based on AI-based recommendations, not on who you follow or who you are connected to. Zuckerberg thinks this is where Facebook is going, and the change is already being felt by users.
Whether you like the change or not, it makes sense.
TikTok has changed people’s ideas about what social media can and maybe should be in its next phase, with a bigger focus on entertainment instead of letting people share their opinions on every news story and topic that comes their way.
Social platforms have a never-ending supply of great, entertaining content posted by people from all over the world. Facebook was built on the idea of connecting you to your close friends and family, but this can be limiting because you might miss the best updates posted by people you’ll never be connected to in the app.