Facebook Just Added Call-to-Action Units to Its Instant Articles

The social network wants to drive more direct lines of communication between publishers and readers

Facebook is adding email and page like call-to-action units to its Instant Articles format for publishers, and the social network is testing CTA units for free trials and mobile application installations.

Product manager Josh Roberts introduced the calls to action in a Facebook Media blog post, saying that the goal was to drive more direct lines of communication between publishers and readers.

Roberts described the two new CTA units as follows:

  • Email sign-up: Readers share their email addresses and agree to receive email newsletter updates from publishers. Flexible design options allow publishers to customize messaging and clearly represent their brand.

  • Page like: Readers that like the publisher’s page are eligible to receive updates and posts from that publisher in News Feed.

Roberts said beta partner Slate has seen the email sign-up CTA account for 41 percent of its total email newsletter list growth over the past two months, and fellow beta partner The Huffington Post reported similar results, calling the email sign-up CTA one of its highest-performing acquisition channels for driving subscriptions to its newsletters.

He also described the two CTA units that Facebook is currently testing:

  • Free trial: We are currently testing a quick and easy way for people to sign up for a free trial to a publisher’s digital subscription through Instant Articles with a small group of publishers.
  • Mobile app install: Many partners have asked for a way to drive adoption for their mobile apps. So, this week, we officially launched an alpha test of a new mobile app Install CTA unit with a handful of partners.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.