Instant Articles Help Boost Engagement For Tribune Stations

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel Comment

Tribune stations have found success in using Facebook’s Instant Articles publishing tool.

Facebook says the station group’s strategy to post stories as Instant Articles, fast loading stories that show up in viewers Facebook feed, has boosted engagement across local affiliates.

Tribune’s vice president of product, Steve Baron, talked to Facebook about the group’s publishing checklist and what stories make the cut.

We launched Instant Articles as soon as they were fully available for general use in Spring of 2016. Initially we published all Tribune Media content as Instant Articles (over 30,000 links a month) but after a few months, realized we had to be smarter about what content was enabled as an Instant Article to bring revenue in line with mobile web. Mind you, this was over a year ago when Instant Articles was a very new product. After testing many variables we settled on only enabling Instant Articles for articles that are longer than a few paragraphs. We found that as the ‘sweet spot’ where the amount of ads in an Instant Article equaled or exceeded performance on mobile web. Our team built a ‘publishing checklist’ in our CMS to determine what posts would be eligible for publishing as Instant Articles based on six criteria – articles meeting all six criteria get an Instant Article created – those that don’t meet all six open in our responsive website when viewed from Facebook.

Baron also shared best practices tips for publishers. You can check them out here.

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