Facebook has announced it is opening up it’s Instant Articles platform to publishers of any size, beginning on April 12. To prepare WordPress-based publishers for the big change, Jetpack creator Automattic has taken the wraps off a free plugin to help you get ready.
You can download and install the plugin now from GitHub, or expect it to show up in the WordPress plugin directory soon.
Instant Article, now available to anyone on Facebook’s iPhone or Android apps, load articles quickly inside of Facebook’s News Feed, loading articles almost instantly, and optimizing them for mobile reading. The new format includes built-in tools, like auto-play video, or tap-to-zoom galleries, designed to bring stories to life on mobile devices. Early analysis shows people are more engaged in the Instant Articles and tend to share them more often than standard web links
Automattic has been working with Dekode and Facebook, to build a plugin that should take care of the basics of getting WordPress-based publishers ready for Instant Articles. Activate the plugin, and you’ll get a feed of IA-ready posts, putting your content in the required markup.
Facebook currently has a review process set up, to verify that all Instant Articles generate by websites are formatted properly and adhere to certain markup standards and content policies before they will let you publish content to Facebook. Instant Articles generally contain all the information you would see in a web version of the same article, so if you have built out the standard WordPress template in any way, you may need to extend the plugin’s default settings.
If you have any problems, Automattic is accepting feedback as an Issue on GitHub, and are also asking developers who build compatibility for other plugins to share them in the WordPress community.
Learn more at Facebook.