How Colombia’s El Tiempo is Experimenting with Facebook’s Instant Articles

On December 1st Facebook launched one of its most revolutionary news products to date: Instant Articles.  The new product is supposed to give publishers superpowers to connect with their audiences with texts and graphics, video and audio content at a fast speed and with responsive design. Portada, through Paula Gaviria our brand new correspondent in Bogotá, talked to leading executives at Casa Editorial El Tiempo and at Facebook Latin America to talk about what they have learned so far.

By Paula Gaviria, Bogotá, Colombia

Latin American newspaper and magazine publishers have now the opportunity to appeal to Facebook audiences in a new way with their own content. Instant articles are interactive and immersive and they load 10 times faster than the standard mobile web. They also allow high-resolution photos, embedded audio clips to accompany the news. Other features include geo-location, integrated RSS and HTML. In addition, the new product enables the publisher to measure audiences together with Comscore. One excited observer has claimed that "since December 1rst articles on Facebook are not just words, they are alive."

Daniel Rojas Rincon

Daniel Rojas Rincon, Casa Editorial El Tiempo

Daniel Rojas Rincon, Executive Digital Manager in charge of  content/information properties at Casa Editorial El Tiempo (CEET), who led the launch and implementation of Facebook Instant articles at El Tiempo.com shares his experience with Portada.

Multidisciplinary Team

For the implementation of Instant Articles CEET worked with a team of 10 employees (engineers, content teams as well as product and network managers). Says Rojas Rincon: "This started more than a year ago, in June 2014. We conducted many meetings with the Facebook Team. They were very interested in having a major publisher like ourselves innovating and pioneering the launch of this new product.  The first article we produced with the Facebook Instant Article technology was about  Pope Francis' visit to Africa on December 10."

"With the advent of social networks, publishers are becoming commodities, if we are not on Social Networks audiences are going to leave us. So we decided to be present where the user is, to innovate, to believe in this new product in order to generate engagement  and visibility." "The great thing about Facebook is that we can use their system so that we can have their users find us wherever they are, says Rojas Rincon.

Community Manager deploys a Feed for FB Instant Articles

FB_Instant_Articles"By now we have developed a feed which our Community Manager, deploys on Facebook Instant Articles based on editorial and audience criteria. The idea is that, opposite to a conventional feed, our Instant Articles feed only shows the user what really matters to her/him." CEET is also optimizing the offering with AB Testing. "We are currently evaluating engagement and other metrics to determine whether it makes sense to add other CEET sites such as Portafolio.com or ADN.com to the Facebook Instant Articles Distribution," Rojas Rincon adds.

The idea is that, opposite to a conventional feed, our Instant Articles feed only shows the user what really matters to her/him.

Measurable and Marketable

According to Rojas Rincon, the Facebook Instant Articles will clearly be marketable. We consider it as a channel. Another feature of Instant Articles Rojas Rincon likes is its measurability, not only through ComScore but also with Google, Omniture, Smart etc....

What Content Clicks on Facebook Instant Articles?

While, according to Rojas Rincon, it is too early to talk about what content/feed has higher click-through rates. In general, it can be said that multimedia content works best. That means pics, sounds and animations which make the content very interactive.

Pics, sounds and animations which make the content interactive work best.

Who gets the Ad Money? The Revenue Share

Regarding the revenue share on advertising sold on Facebook Instant Articles (which always is native advertising), if the partner media property (e.g. Casa Editorial El Tiempo) sells the advertising 100% of the ad revenues are for the media partner. If Facebook sells the advertising the revenue split is 70% Facebook and 30% for the media partner.

CHECK OUT: Will Ad Money follow News to Social Media?

 

Latin American Media Partners

“We have started to roll out Instant Articles with a group of media organizations across the region and it will be

Cláudia Gurfinkel, Head of Strategic News Partnerships, FB

Cláudia Gurfinkel, Head of Strategic News Partnerships, FB

available soon to more publishers in Colombia and in Latin America. We look forward to work with all content partners in the region”, says Cláudia Gurfinkel, Head of Strategic News Partnerships for Facebook in Latin America.
40 Latin American content companies, mostly publishers, are now part of the Facebook Instant Articles program.They include:
Colombia: Eltiempo.com (CCET), Caracol Televisión and all their digital brands
Argentina: Clarín, TN, La Nación, Infobae, Diario Uno (Mendoza), El Trece, Ciudad.com, TKM, Pasión Futbol, TyC Sports and Bola Vip
Brasil: AdoroCinema, Bolsa de Mulher, Capricho, Catraca Livre, Esporte Interativo, Estadão, Exame, G1, M de Mulher, R7, Veja and Veja SP
Chile: La Tercera, Radio Bio Bio, Teletrece, and TVN (24horas.cl)
Mexico: Aristegui, Azteca, Cultura Colectiva and SDP Noticias
Latam panregional: UPSOCL and iMujer

Greetings From Colombia, let’s keep in touch!


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