Facebook today announced it has launched Instant Articles for iOS and Android users in India. The world’s largest online social networking site had earlier launched the service in the US and Europe but it was restricted to iPhone users. Also Read - Facebook, Instagram might witness a 45 percent drop in teenage users over the next two years: ReportAlso Read - WhatsApp violates Indian users' rights by denying dispute resolution claims Centre
Facebook started rolling out Instant Articles earlier this year, as a way for users to read news stories up to 10 times faster than before. The company s publishing partners will put up interactive news stories with images, auto-play videos, interactive maps, and audio captions among others. To distinguish from normal stories shared on the News Feed, Instant Articles feature a lightning bolt on the top-right corner. Also Read - Facebook to pay French news publishers for using its content
Facebook had roped in publications like The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild. As mentioned above, Facebook has partnered The Indian Express, India Today, The Quint, Aaj Tak and the Hindustan Times for Instant Articles in India.
We re excited to be working with The Indian Express to bring their great and proven journalism to people in India with Instant Articles, Andy Mitchell, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships said. Instant Articles is a great fit for Indian Express growing digital brand and its blend of great storytelling and young/intelligent audience. We look forward to working with them to scale the product on Android.
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It is not surprising to see Facebook launching Instant Articles in India right after the US and Europe. India has more than 130 million active Facebook users and more than 90 percent of them access the social network via their mobile phones.
With Android smartphones dominating the Indian smartphone market, it is hardly surprising to see Facebook opting for the platform rather than iOS. As per the Indian Express, Instant Articles is being slowly rolled out in India, and a wider roll out is expected before the end of the year.