Just over a year since Facebook brought Instant Articles to Messenger, it is now removing them to focus on Instant Articles within Facebook’s flagship app.
Facebook had introduced Instant Articles to Messenger in July 2016 to help users get faster access to the content attached to web links and especially, news. And its commitment to the content format isn’t changing. It’s just shifting to Facebook’s flagship application. Instant Articles may load 10 times faster than ordinary links, but they probably haven’t had the effect that Facebook has been looking for.
One would assume this has something to do with fewer people consuming content within Messenger. That’s not the case here. Facebook wants bots to deliver the news on Messenger. As a Facebook spokesperson recently confirmed,
We believe that Messenger is an exciting channel for new and interesting news-consumption experiences, including the opportunity to build unique messaging experiences in Messenger that many publishers have executed successfully via the Messenger Platform.
Rest assured that this change of heart is nothing more than a shift in investment. Facebook is still very committed to Instant Articles, and the experience that it offers users. It just doesn’t believe Messenger is the right platform to deliver it.