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UK publishers are mixed on performance of Facebook Instant Articles

While still early, publishers are starting to gauge how beneficial posting fast-loading content directly to Facebook via Instant Articles can be to them, both in terms of traffic performance and revenue. Views in the U.K. are mixed.

All the major U.K. publishers are publishing to Instant Articles to greater or lesser extents. The BBC and the Guardian were among the first, with the Guardian in particular going all in. The Economist, Financial Times, The Sun, Trinity Mirror, Daily Mail, Business Insider U.K., among others, are all testing it.

Trinity Mirror is a fan. The publisher runs all content for its biggest newspapers (The Mirror, Manchester Evening News) via Instant Articles and wants the same for its smaller titles. Trinity Mirror strategy director Piers North said the additional international reach the publication has gained is paying off, although he wouldn’t reveal specifics. Revenue-wise, it’s a money-making proposition, he added.

“We’re putting tens of millions of impressions down Instant Articles. At the moment, we see no reason to throttle that. The money it’s making us isn’t insignificant,” said North.

Publishers like The Independent have said that yields on Instant Articles have erodedover the last few months, even for video. But that’s not a universal view. Several publishers have said that their own yields have remained stable, North among them. Currently, Facebook sells the ads for Trinity Mirror via its Audience Network; however, in the future, the publisher plans to take that in-house.

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