Facebook Instant Articles aim to take over online news

Why go to all that trouble of surfing when you can stay on Facebook?

Facebook is taking on web news - with its Instant Articles allowing major media to put their wares straight onto the social network as well (or rather than) on their own sites.

Working with major players at the start, like the BBC, Guardian, Buzzfeed and National Geographic, the move is potentially transformative to the internet.

Although many doubts will surface about the return of a walled-garden private internet, controlled by a single entity, Facebook will feel that this is a major step in remaining relevant and getting news to its younger demographic.

Facebook has also insisted that the move will help end delays of those clicking on links to external sites, citing mobile phone users as a primary reason for the need for a streamlined experience.

Ring-fenced or just another platform?

The media owners will have a 100% share of revenue from any adverts that are sold on the pages - at least to start with - and some will choose to only host bits of content on the social network, eschewing their own sites.

The BBC has already confirmed that it will not go down this route: "Some will be using those tools to make tailored content for Instant Articles, others, including the BBC, which will soon start using the service with its Newsbeat material, will decline that option.

"They will not want to put on Facebook's servers anything that is not available on their own sites."

The articles will have extended functionality, with a blog post from Facebook explaining: "Along with a faster experience, Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways.

"Zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting your phone. Watch auto-play videos come alive as you scroll through stories. Explore interactive maps, listen to audio captions, and even like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line."

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Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.