Facebook is making it easier for content creators to tailor articles for Google AMP, Apple News and its own publishing standard with a new update for the Instant Articles software development kit. The social giant said that the move will remove the “resource-heavy step” of posting content on multiple platforms.
Facebook launched Instant Articles back in 2015 to allow publishers to create fast, interactive articles on the platform, but it has struggled to grow in comparison to Google’s AMP format, which is now the prime open-source initiative for optimising content for the mobile web. Apple News is also a proprietary format that has been central to news delivery on iOS devices.
These disparate formats have made it difficult for brands and publishers to tailor content for each platform, but Facebook is now proposing a solution with a new updated SDK for Instant Articles. This will allow content creators to build articles and news pieces that can be published in all three formats by using the markup for Facebook’s format and creating the code for AMP and Apple News.
“The SDK already enables developers to easily integrate publishing Instant Articles into their content management systems. By supporting a gateway to generate content across platforms, we’re also making it easy for publishers to apply some of the custom styling templates in AMP and Apple News that they have created in the Instant Articles Style Editor,” Facebook’s Piyush Mangalick said in a blog post.
These custom styling templates will cover aspects such as colours, captions and custom fonts so that content is closely mirrored in the other formats. To take advantage of the “design once, publish anywhere” experience, users will first have to create an Instant Articles page, which is part of Facebook’s plan to lure back publishers who have recently left the platform due to a lack of monetisation options.
Mangalick added: “This new flexibility with Instant Articles is part of our commitment to open standards of collaboration with the community. Our goal is to give publishers control over extending and modifying the Instant Articles building blocks to be the best storytellers on every platform.”