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Instant Articles: Frequently Asked Questions

Instant Articles is a mobile publishing format that enables news publishers to distribute articles to Facebook's app that load and display as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web.

For the latest updates on Instant Articles improvements and technical revisions, subscribe to the Instant Articles News blog.

You’ll find answers to frequently asked questions on the following subjects here:

Basics

Publishing

Monetization

Basics

An Instant Article is an HTML document optimized for fast mobile performance, rich storytelling capabilities, branded design and customized visual display. Instant Articles use a standardized markup language (similar to XML) to apply styles and interactive functionality to a story.

This markup can be applied automatically, to enable automated publication of an entire content feed at scale. Alternatively, it can be applied manually to create bespoke stories that take full advantage of Instant Article capabilities and rich-media elements.

Instant Articles will not be automatically posted. Publishers should share articles on their Pages just as they always have.

Instant Articles are ranked in News Feed by the same criteria that we use to rank standard articles on the mobile web. News Feed ranks stories based on a number of factors, including the amount people interact with them and how much time people spend reading them.

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Publishing with Instant Articles

Instant Articles are only available on Facebook's mobile app. Having a standard web URL that links to a web-based version of the content ensures that shared links to Instant Articles discovered on Facebook remain accessible to any reader on any platform. Without a standard, web-based URL, the article would only be readable via Facebook's mobile app.

We've tried to make it as easy as possible for publishers to produce Instant Articles. After some basic setup, publishers can automate Instant Article production directly from their own content management systems. Facebook provides tools so publishers can see all the items in their Facebook publishing feed and edit or revise content manually. Facebook also provides tools for publishers to preview articles before publication.

No. Instant Articles are treated like any other stories publishers post to Facebook.

To be eligible for access to Instant Articles all publishers must comply with the Instant Articles Policies on Facebook. We will revoke access to any publishers who violate these policies, become inactive on Instant Articles or who have minimal readership.

If you have become inactive on Instant Articles, you will need to go through the Domain Review process again by submitting 10 articles for review under Step 2 of the Configuration tab in Publishing Tools.

If your articles have minimal readership then reapply for access when your articles have more engagement. You will also need to go through the Domain Review process again and submit 10 new articles for review through the Configuration tab.

Facebook uses automated and manual enforcement methods to determine whether content is eligible for monetization. We consider the context and purpose, but we reserve the right to not show ads at our discretion, including from certain advertisers or certain formats.

Articles that violate our Content Guidelines are not eligible for monetization and will be published on the mobile web instead of as an Instant Article. These articles are listed with a warning next to the impacted articles on the Production Articles tab within Publishing Tools.

Creators and publishers with multiple violations could lose access to all monetization features. See our Content Guidelines for Monetization for more information on acceptable content.

Publishers have the option to include a banner at the beginning of your Instant Articles with links to your organization's data collection and cookies policies.

This banner will only be seen by user's residing in the EU and will only show once, on the first article viewed after the publisher activates the banner.

To turn on the Cookie Banner:

  1. Enter your privacy message in the field. This field can accept text and links to your website.
  2. Go to the Publishing Tools tab on your Page.
  3. Locate the Configuration section of the Instant Articles sidebar navigation.
  4. The European Union Cookie Banner field is at the bottom of the Configuration page.
  5. Click Add Banner to save the message.
Facebook users have the ability to clear their phone’s browsing data by going to Settings > Browser > Clear Data. This clears the phone’s cookies and cache from websites the user has visited while using the Facebook app.

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Monetization in Instant Articles

Ads We Allow

Facebook allows several types of ads to be included in Instant Articles. Publishers can also use Facebook's Audience Network to monetize any impressions that are not direct sold.

Direct Sold

Instant Articles partners may serve direct sold ads into your inventory. Publishers keep 100% of direct sold ad revenue.

Publishers can sell and serve their own rich-media and display ads in Instant Articles including banner ads, video ads (click to play or sound off), and animated ads containing HTML, Javascript or CSS (provided the ads do not expand, collapse or block any content).

Third-party ad servers and tracking or measurement technologies can be used to track these ads.

House Ads

House ads are allowed, and will count towards a publisher's per article ad load, as defined by our ad placement guidelines.

Native Formats

Publishers may serve native ad formats (e.g. ads that match the form and function of the platform or context in which they appear) into Instant Articles provided they are direct sold campaigns delivered by a publisher's ad server, and comply with the Ads Sales and Serving policies.

Branded Content/Paid Partnerships

Publishers can create and publish branded content as Instant Articles. Instant Articles that specifically mention or feature a “sponsor,” third party products, brands, or sponsors are considered branded content and subject to our branded content policy.

3rd Party Video

Third party embedded video players are allowed in Instant Articles but as long as they are click to play and contain editorial content below the fold. If using a 3rd party video player, we recommend not starting with a pre-roll ad as this significantly detracts from the reading experience.

Ads We Do Not Allow

Ads that exceed 15% of the content

If your article consists primarily of images or media, ads must not exceed 15% of the content. For publishers using the automatic ads placement feature, this will automatically take into account article elements like photos or videos when determining ads placement.

Programmatic Ads

Programmatic ads (ads automated through a third party vendor) are not allowed in Instant Articles.

Learn how to design Ads for Instant Articles:

More info:

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Audience Network

Audience Network Overview

Audience Network extends the reach of Facebook campaigns beyond Facebook, and provides publishers a way to monetize their content with relevant, better targeted ads and innovative native ad formats.

Audience Network tag examples may be found in Ads and Analytics in Instant Articles.

Placement ID

You will need to have access to your Audience Network account for Instant Articles. In the account, navigate to ‘Placements’ and create a ‘Placement of Banner’ type. You will only need one placement.

Advertisers Controls

You may use filters within your Audience Network console to manage a block list based on categories, URLs or apps.

When buying through the Facebook platform or via a Facebook Marketing Partner, ads are targeted based on audience by user rather than being placed contextually. Advertisers currently only have the ability to target Facebook platform or Audience Network (or both). Our engineering team is discussing further targeting abilities, but details of what this may look like have not yet been shared.

Direct Sold Ads and Audience Network

In the case that you want to serve both direct sold and Audience Network ads, you’ll deploy an ad server tag to your Instant Articles and add Audience Network as a tag to your ad server. You may prioritize according to your preferences.

You can also use both direct sold and Audience Network in the same placement. The recommended implementation is to place a call to your ad server within the ad iframe. You will manage Audience Network as a line item within your ad server, acting as the monetization option to supplement your direct sales.

CPMs

The Audience Network provides publishers and developers with ad units backed by Facebook's advertisers. CPMs can be influenced by multiple factors, including a publisher’s readership, seasonality in spending by advertisers and other more external issues in the marketplace. Publishers can track the CPM through the Audience Network dashboard that they have access to once on-boarded to Audience Network.

Note: SDK is never involved in Instant Articles integrations, so those details do not apply.

More info

Audience Network FAQ

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Ad Serving

DFP publishers have the option to disable Dynamic Allocation for placements if they choose to. They will need to do so for use in Instant Articles.

IP and header information are passed to external ad calls and can be used for targeting.

Instant Articles do not have a macro that passes metadata to ads. This would require development work on your side to pass metadata to ad requests on ingestion of the article in Facebook.

There are a few different ways to deploy GPT. We do not, however, support the most commonly recommended implementation, which is to include the main tag in the <head> element of the page with individual tags throughout the article. The only supported integration is to include the whole JS tag within each ad iframe. Beyond that, there aren’t any restrictions. You can use the separate <op-tracker> for Google Analytics or any other data.

Yes. To specify multiple blocks of ad code, wrap each in a <section> with the class op-ad-template in your article <header>. You can designate separate sizes for each ad template. They will be placed throughout the article in the order you included them in. For more information on automatic placement, see Ad Placement in the Monetization with Instant Articles section of our developer documentation.

If your article is less than 350 words, you can expect automatic placement will position the ad at the bottom of the article. We continue to refine automatic placement to ensure quality experiences for people, so this may change over time.

Scroll depth is provided for every article.

It is also possible to monitor ad viewability specifically. IOS ads currently render differently than Android. For IOS ads, it is possible to get an idea of viewability by looking at the difference between ‘Filled’ and ‘Impressions.’ Ads are filled on article load and impressions recorded when 1% of the vertical pixels and 100% of horizontal pixels are in the viewport.

Not at this time, although Facebook reserves the right to request the removal of technologies that are in violation of our policies.