Discovering multiple stories from a publisher should be as fast and frictionless as Instant Articles themselves. That's why we've been talking to publishers and looking for ways Instant Articles can better enable discovery to serve as a gateway to more content experiences.
We're excited to roll out horizontal scrolling in Instant Articles and to give a preview of other recirculation improvements we have in the works.
Instant Articles will feature a new, full-screen horizontal swipe that leads to a carousel of more stories from the same publisher. Because they are Instant Articles, they load immediately, making this a seamless and intuitive discovery experience.
The feature will begin gradually rolling out to readers using the Facebook app on iOS version 72 and will open to Android in the coming weeks.
The horizontal swipe feature is just one of the tools we are building and testing to drive deeper engagement with publisher content. In addition, we're continuing to explore the best ways to surface the most relevant stories for readers, experimenting with different engagement signals such as recency, popularity and proximity.
For example you may have noticed some changes in the related articles units that appear at the bottom of your Instant Articles. We're launching a new, more visual design that features thumbnail images and larger article units. It will also show total counts of reader Reactions and Comments to give readers more signals to use when choosing which stories to read next.
Here's an example of what the new design looks like:
We're excited to see how horizontal scrolling, the new related articles designs and other new features affect article recirculation. We'll continue to iterate and optimize them based on what we learn from readers' responses and from publisher feedback.