Facebook Instant Articles: A New Monetization Opportunity for Publishers?

Does Facebook's Instant Articles program present publishers with new mobile advertising monetization opportunities?

VP of Global Marketing, Dynamic Yield

Facebook has recently debuted Instant Articles for their current iPhone and Android apps. Facebook’s Instant Articles allows publishers and editors to serve media rich content, including long form articles, high resolution images, interactive graphics and auto-play videos to the Facebook app that load up to 10 times faster than clicking on a link. Instant Articles will retain their original publisher’s design layout including logos, fonts and cover images.

Facebook offers publishers a lot of freedom over their advertisement and analytics, including full use of comScore, Omniture, Google Analytics and other solutions. Publishers are being given a full set of tools so they won’t have to work hard to use the platform, but what does that mean for marketers? There’s still obscurity surrounding the technical capabilities of the new program, but we currently see two major opportunities where Dynamic Yield can increase revenue through personalization and optimization:

1. Maximized Ad Revenue with Dynamic Ad Serving

Native ads are considered to be one of the most effective ways to advertise in the feed, regardless of platform. The limited mobile screen real estate is a challenge to publishers who make manual editorial decisions about what content to highlight. Marketers know they must be strategic in their choices, but it’s impossible to deliver a single experience that is relevant to every individual reader. A dynamic and personalized ad serving solution can transform unconverted ad impressions to high performance mobile ads.

Facebook is offering publishers who use Instant Articles the freedom to monetize their mobile audience using their own native ads while keeping 100% of the revenue. In addition, Facebook is continuing to offer publishers to choose their standard ad placement deal, giving 70% of revenue to publishers and keeping a 30% cut for themselves. This increase in flexibility means using optimized tools to serve in-app Facebook ads is becoming more important than ever. Publishers are being given a major opportunity by keeping full control of ad monetization both on and off Facebook. By leveraging intelligent ad serving tools, including those offered by Dynamic Yield, publishers can serve personalized content recommendations and highly relevant native ads, exactly like they already do within articles on their desktop and mobile platforms.

For example, by serving native ads through Dynamic Yield’s Smart Objects technology, publishers and editors can make the best data-driven editorial decisions by automatically delivering customized experiences to individual mobile readers. Basing these decisions on a set of manual or automated conditions, such as past behavior, demographics, psychographics and more, leads to increased ad revenue.

2. Optimized Native App Content with Real-time Insights

Publishers can now implement a variety of third-party tracking tools on their Instant Articles pages (however, not all solutions are fully integrated yet), which may open up capabilities to move beyond Facebook’s standard Publisher Analytics Tools to real-time content and optimization insights. This may allow content quality to be monitored in real-time and changes to quickly be made where necessary. Publishers also may use external analytics solutions to evaluate performance in real-time when embedding personalized recommendation widgets and ads directly into Facebook Instant Articles. Ultimately, these capabilities will help publishers maximize their click-through rate and provide readers with a more engaging experience.

To understand the effectiveness of in app mobile ads, it is possible that publishers will start utilizing comprehensive analytics solutions for measuring and evaluating real-time reactions to their Instant Articles native ad variations, comparing performance of different headlines in different variations. For example, here’s a screenshot of one of our reports, showing the click-through rate of specific ad variations over time. This report makes it easy for any marketer or editor to understand what’s working and what’s not, and then use that information to their advantage.

Dynamic Yield's Real-time Analytics

Facebook is collecting all Instant Articles on a dedicated page. Check it out on your Facebook app to see how publishers are using the platform and how you can leverage this opportunity to reach viewers in the most engaging way possible.