Facebook Is Updating Instant Articles to Help Publishers Make More Money

Changes include allowing more ads in stories

Facebook is updating its policies for Instant Articles, per a rep with the company, which could mean up to 40 percent more ads for publishers on the platform.

Starting today, publishers utilizing Instant Articles will be able to place an ad every 350 words instead of every 500 words, according to the rep. They will also soon be able to sell Facebook-only campaigns for the first time—they had been required to couple Instant Articles sales with inventory from other websites—which means publishers can offer Instant Articles ads to brands at premium prices.

Publishers should welcome the tweaks. Some have complained that Facebook's original policies made it difficult to get as much revenue as they could from simply publishing articles on their proprietary websites. According to Facebook, publishers earn 100 percent of revenue from ads they sell or a smaller percentage if they choose to tap into the Facebook Audience Network platform.

In addition to more ad-focused updates, Facebook will now let publishers manually control the links to editorial content on their own websites which will open on the mobile Web rather than in Facebook's iPhone or Android apps. While all iPhone users have been able to access Instant Articles since October, the feature is still being rolled out to Android users.

The changes come as Facebook, which began testing Instant Articles in May, works to better accommodate the more than 100 publishers running stories on a daily basis. The feature seems to be gaining momentum—Facebook says around 300 media companies are now enrolled and waiting for onboarding with more being added each day.

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