Facebook Instant Articles: Everything you need to know!

Even if you don't know what Facebook's Instant Articles are right off the hop, chances are you've stumbled across one or two of them while scrolling through your newsfeed on your iPhone.

Essentially what they are are articles that load a lot faster, look a lot better on screen, and help news sites and sources deliver their information on Facebook in a more succinct, zippy way.

Instant Articles is a tool for news publishers to distribute fast, interactive articles to their readers in the Facebook app. (Facebook)

If you have a couple of questions about Facebook Instant Articles, how they work, or even how you can be a part of it, don't worry — you're not alone!

How do Instant Articles work?

It takes over 8 seconds on average for a typical news article to load on a web browser, but using the same fast tools used to load photos and videos in the Facebook app, Instant Articles allows news to load as much as 10 times faster than other mobile web articles.

Beyond just speed, Instant Articles allow publishers to provide the same high quality, fluid experience and interactivity that people expect from a mobile app. (Facebook)

Are Instant Articles available to everyone on Facebook?

Yes, yes, and yes: if you're someone who uses the Facebook app on iPhone or Android, you'll be able to access Instant Articles.

What happens if a reader isn't on a device that supports Instant Articles?

If you stumble across a news piece that's meant to be read as an Instant Article on your computer, it'll just load like a regular story.

People on a desktop computer or a mobile device that doesn't support Instant Articles will continue to link to the web version of the article. (Facebook)

What types of articles work best for this format?

The most popular pieces you'll see Instant Articles popping up on are mainly newsy articles, but Instant Articles works for any type of article from news coverage and opinion pieces, to long-form, in-depth, hardcore journalism.

Do Instant Articles change how publishers or people share on Facebook?

Short answer: No.

Nothing about link-sharing changes. Publishers and readers link to articles just as they always have; there is no need to link or post an Instant Article differently. Each Instant Article is associated with the URL where the web version is hosted on the publisher's website. (Facebook)

How quickly are articles published and updated?

Instant Articles automatically loads brand new stories from the RSS feed as soon as they are published to the publisher's main website and apps.

If any corrections are made, then the Instant Article is, well, instantly updated!

Why would publishers want to participate in Instant Articles?

Simply put, faster loading articles means that readers get to their content as fast as humanly possible.

Facebook's experience with other media formats, such as auto-play video, has been that more rapid content loading generates increased content consumption and sharing. (Facebook)

How do publishers sign up to publish Instant Articles?

Starting in April of 2016, any publisher of any size, anywhere in the world, is able to participate and create content using Instant Articles.

What do you think about Facebook's Instant Articles?

Are you a big fan of Instant Articles? Personally I think they're a great addition to Facebook's mobile app, but what do you think?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau