WordPress.com VIP and Facebook this week announced the Facebook Instant Articles plugin for WordPress, a free, open-source solution designed to dramatically cut the page-load time of articles opened within Facebook. The plugin is entirely open source and is available for free on GitHub.
Geared towards news and content publishers, Instant Articles allows Facebook users to open up articles entirely within the Facebook mobile application. This simplifies the process of publishing Instant Articles from WordPress directly.
Upon activation, the plugin ensures that “you’ll have a compliant feed of posts, wrapping your core content in the markup Facebook requires.”
“The open-source WordPress publishing platform now powers more than 25% of sites on the web,” said Facebook in an announcement. “So we are excited to help millions of publishers all over the world bring the Instant Articles experience to their readers.”
According to Facebook, the page-load time is up to 10 times faster than mobile web content and it preserves the formatting of the publisher’s site.
“Facebook has a review process where they verify that all Instant Articles generated from your website are properly formatted and adhere to their community standards and content policies before you’ll be able to start pushing content to the platform,” WordPress VIP said in the announcment.
Instant Articles is part of a larger conversation about getting content to readers faster. Other initiatives like Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or Apple News also cut page load time. WordPress makes it easy for its users to benefit from these changes with plugins for AMP, Apple News, and now Instant Articles. This not only improves the platform but it also makes information more accessible.