Should Lawyers Care About Facebook Instant Articles?

According to Wikipedia, Facebook created a new feature called Instant Articles specifically for content producers such as news agencies and bloggers in May – June 2015. Currently, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic and at least six other outlets use Instant Articles according to TechCrunch.

In a nutshell, authors can select one or more of their articles to appear as Instant Articles within Facebook. These articles can be read entirely within Facebook’s app which Facebook loves because they don’t want people clicking away from their site. 

My favourite aspect of Instant Articles is the consistent high-quality style. You know you’re going to see a nicely formatted article with pictures, logos, etc.

Facebook Instant Article Features

  • Analytics similar to Google Analytics.
  • Formatting options to preserve the look and feel of the original article on the publisher’s website.
  • According to Wikipedia, Facebook allows ads to appear inside Instant Articles Publishers can keep 100% of the revenue if they sell the ads, and Facebook gets its standard 30% cut if it sells the ads.
  • Facebook claims Instant Articles load ten times faster than others in the newsfeed.

The Downside of Instant Articles

Setting up Instant Articles is not easy, and there’s a hefty time investment. On a side note, The Guardian just pulled out of Instant Articles and Apple News as they didn’t see any benefit.

If you’re interested in doing it, definitely involve your IT department or hire someone to do it properly. You’ll need to understand the header and footer section of your blog, basic HTML formatting, RSS feeds and more. If you’re an Instant Articles expert, contact me.

Here’s the million dollar question. Should lawyers care about implementing Instant Articles?

From my personal experience, I don’t Instant Articles are worth implementing for lawyers.

  • They take too long to set up
  • The advertising revenue isn’t great
  • They don’t help much with SEO (as far as I’ve read)
  • They require technical knowledge that you don’t learn in law school

The only plus is the “trust” people feel for reading the articles. I think you can build this same sort of trust by formatting your blog posts properly on Facebook.

What do you think? Are you using Instant Articles and loving them?


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