Facebook has removed its Instant Articles platform off Messenger just a little over a year after first introducing the feature, reports TechCrunch. Instant Articles is a mobile feature Facebook introduced in 2015 as a way for news publishers to distribute their content to the mass of users on the social networking site. The articles load up to 10 times faster, but weak performance means Instant Articles struggled to grow.
“As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles — and in order to have the greatest impact on people and publishers — we’re focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app and are no longer offering Instant Articles in Messenger,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. The spokesperson noted that Messenger would remain a channel for “news consumption experiences,” with thousands of bots — including ones from news publishers — that can answer basic questions or ping users with news alerts.
Facebook also faced monetization issues with Instant Articles. Major publishers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have begun distancing themselves from Instant Articles because of concerns that they were losing subscription money with little payoff in terms of audience growth. In an effort to conserve the platform, Facebook added support for Google AMP in May, and said it would also add subscriptions and paywalled content later this year.
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