Facebook instant articles for WordPress was introduced to better the experience for users accessing articles while on Facebook.
Previously, (even today for publishers who haven’t enabled Facebook Instant articles) articles would load on Facebook browser. Dependent on your site load, you would either lose or gain views on your site. And most certainly it was more of the former than the latter.
So when Facebook introduced Instant Articles they wanted to leverage how consumers behave and keep them on their platform for longer. Why are publishers (and you also) enabling Facebook instant articles?
Because they are interested in driving more traffic to their websites from Facebook. Also, *drum-rolls* it is a means of making money.
The way users consume data has changed immensely over the past couple of years.
Once Google revealed that consumers are now accessing information more on mobile than on any other platform. This led to Google coming up with AMP, Apple with Apple News and Facebook with Instant Articles.
So how can you implement Facebook Instant Articles for your blog?
Facebook Instant Articles WordPress
I am sure most of you have already experienced Instant Articles. As the 60 second video display below, top publishers such as New York Times have enabled it for their articles.
If you see any article with a lighting bolt symbol on the top right corner, then you should know that is an instant article.
Initially, Facebook instant articles was only available to big media publishers. This was before Facebook enabled it for all platforms in February 2016.
You will first be required to login to your Facebook profile. If you have more than one account, login to the one you are an admin to the page you would like to activate instant articles on.
Next, you will visit the Instant Articles page.
Click on sign up once on that page.
This will lead you to a page showcasing all your Facebook pages.
Select the page you would like to enable for Facebook Instant Articles.
Agree to the terms.
Then click on “Access Instant Articles Tools”
Once that is done, you need to do the initial set-up for Instant Articles on your page. You can do this by visiting your page Publishing Tools –> Instant Articles
The most important step for now is “Connect your site”
You can either use their API to set-up Instant Articles or simply submit your feed.
First off, you need to claim your URL.
You do this by picking the meta data offered by Facebook and adding it to your head tag.
Once you have claimed your URL you should see a success message as shown below.
Next up you need to add a feed for Instant Articles.
Visit the WordPress repository plugin and search for the official plugin by Facebook for Instant Articles for WordPress.
Install and activate the plugin on your blog.
The minute you activate the plugin, a new feed will be created by the plugin for Instant Articles.
The default set-up would be
Head back to your Facebook page and copy paste that URL to the “Production RSS Feed”
Definitely click on Save
Enable Facebook Instant Articles Plugin
Head to the Facebook apps page.
Then click on add a new app
Choose a desired name (Display name) and input email address and choose appropriate category then click “Create App ID”
On the next page add your website URL. (apologies, I forgot to take a screenshot at this stage while setting up).
Click next and you will come across your App ID and App Secret.
Head over to the Facebook Instant Articles plugin and key in the App ID and App Secret.
Next, you will be required to log in to your Facebook account
Make sure you are using the same account you used for App Id and App Secret.
Otherwise you will receive the following error
You will also receive this error if you don’t set your app to live. So don’t forget to do that.
Connect the page
If you choose a page you have not configured yet you will get the following message
Next you will click on the Customize button.
Here you will design your instant article page. Every setting you place on the right hand side, you will view it on the left hand panel.
Once done click on Next.
Here you will submit your articles for review by Facebook.
Instead of writing new articles to review. Head over to your posts and open already published articles.
Scroll until you find the Facebook Instant Articles tab.
Update all articles whose Facebook Instant Articles looks like below.
If it has any warnings, don’t update it and find the next article.
This will hasten your approval process.
Once approved you will see the update in the Facebook plugin.
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