Facebook would like publishers to display their content directly on the social network and is reportedly generously offering to let those publishers keep ad revenue from certain ads. Per the Wall Street Journal, Instant Articles is Facebook’s way of dealing with slow loading times for news stories on mobile devices. In an effort to get publishers to post content to the social media platform directly, they’re offering to let organizations keep 100% of the profits from ads they sell on the Facebook-hosted news site.
Loading times of links posted on Facebook that lead to news sites can take up to eight seconds on mobile devices, which is about 3 billion Internet years. Instant Articles would solve that problem by hosting content on Facebook servers, which would also have the effect of keeping people on the social media site longer. The problem is that displaying ads is a huge source of revenue for content producers, so Facebook is having to replace that income to make the new project even remotely attractive.
In one of the models under consideration, publishers would keep all of the revenue from ads they sell on Facebook-hosted news sites, the people familiar with the matter said. If Facebook sells the advertisement, it would keep roughly 30% of the revenue, as it does in many other cases.
Since the new project is still very much in the “throw ideas around and see what sticks” phase, not a lot else is known. However, Facebook would need to be careful if they want to display ads as well as allowing publishers to show ads to collect revenue from. There’s not a whole lot of real estate on a mobile screen, and people aren’t liable to click on articles if they know they’re going to have to battle hordes of ads to read them.
This move may also indicate that Facebook is looking into profit sharing for video creators a la YouTube, something that is keeping a lot of popular people from transitioning to Facebook.