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October 21, 2016

360 Photos, Videos Arrive for Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook’s Instant Articles will be receiving a significant visual boost, thanks to the inclusion of 360 videos and photos.

Instant Articles, which brings entire news stories and in-depth articles to Facebook’s news feed, was rolled out to all publishers this spring. Now, publishers can add 360 videos and 360 photos to their articles as yet another way for them to “bring their stories to life in new ways.”

“Journalists and storytellers can share richer stories and paint more vivid scenes by joining 360 content with other Instant Articles elements that publishers are using to deliver their written, filmed, and spoken narratives,” product manager Josh Roberts said in a blog post. “Each Instant Article can contain multiple 360 photos and videos that readers can explore, share, and comment on in the context of a story. Readers will see the 360 content in-line and have the option to navigate by turning their device or by tapping and dragging.

Launch partners, showing how the new technology works, are USA Today and BILD.

To view the new technology in action, open the Facebook app on your Smartphone and search for Instant Articles. Tap on the Instant Articles Verified Page in the search results and scroll to the USA Today or BILD story. After tapping on the story, it will load as an Instant Article and will include 360 media. You can take advantage of 360 images and clips by tilting and panning your mobile device. Make sure you are using the latest versions of Android or iOS to view the 360 content.

Any and all publishers already using Instant Articles can start adding 360 videos and photos to their posts.

“In the coming months we plan to introduce more interactive features in Instant Articles and we’re excited to see how publishers experiment and innovate with these new storytelling tools,” Roberts said.

Facebook has said Instant Articles offers publishers more control over their articles, brand experience and monetization opportunities. For instance they have the ability to bring their own direct-sold ads and keep 100 percent of the revenue, and track data on the ads served through their existing ad measurement systems. Publishers also have the ability to track data and traffic through analytics tools like comScore.

Publishers looking to join the Instant Articles program can do so here.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.