Facebook has announced that they have released a new extension to their Instant Article SDK that will allow for faster conversion from the Instant Article format to AMP and Apple News formats. The conversion to Google’s AMP format is now supported while the social network promised that the conversion to the Apple News format will be supported soon. By releasing tools to convert Instant Articles to the Google AMP format, it will diminish, if not totally eliminate, a resource-intensive step in publishing content to multiple platforms. By using the new software tools publishers now only need to design the content only once and then publish the content on all the supported platforms.
The design once, publish everywhere goal is fulfilled by the capability of the new extension to the Instant Article SDK to easily export the designs made by the publishers for their Instant Articles to AMP and Apple News formats. Facebook ensures that the fonts, colors, and captions used in the Instant Articles will be retained once it is converted to Google AMP and Apple News formats. Ensuring format compatibility may have caused the delay in the release of tools supporting conversion to Apple News, as Facebook is still working with partners on how to properly support the said format.
The release of conversion tools is among the latest efforts of the social media giant to entice publishers to utilize the Instant Articles format. Many publishers have either withdrawn their support for the format or have not published using the format at all due to the lack of monetization and reduced engagement with content readers. This is in contrast to the Google AMP format, which is now being supported by popular creative management platform Celtra and marketing analytics platform Moat. In order to help publishers monetize their content, Facebook has suggested several options, including offering free trials to subscriptions through Facebook, and digest packages for the users of the social media platform. Several rules regarding the monetization of Instant Articles have also been relaxed, allowing publishers to show more advertisements. Additional features allowing publishers to ask for page likes and encourage app downloads have also been rolled out in order to stem the concern of content creators regarding reduced reader engagement.