Want to drive more traffic from Facebook & earn more money?
If your answer is yes, today seems to be your lucky day.. Read on…
Facebook Instant Articles are not new to users like you who are super net savvy.
As bloggers & webmasters, FB Instant Articles are a boon & a curse. It’s a boon because it will give us more traffic from Facebook, but at the same time it’s bad because you won’t be able to show your widgets or email box like you do right now.
Needless to say, the Facebook Instant Article is here to stay & the sooner you integrate it, the better it will be for you.
I have waited for quite a long time to share this article with you as I wanted to give you all the necessary details & guidelines to configuring FB Instant Articles within your website. Today, I will be sharing the complete tutorial + a video guide to help you set up Facebook Instant Articles for your blog.
If you are not aware of FB Instant Articles, let me quickly give you an overview of what they are & why they matter.
What are Instant Articles?
The Instant Article is a feature by Facebook that solves the problem of slow loading of articles. An Instant Article is an HTML5 document optimized for fast mobile performance, rich storytelling capabilities, branded design, and a customized visual display. Once you have enabled Instant Articles on your website/blog, whenever your articles are shared on Facebook, users surfing on the mobile app will be able to see the Instant Article icon. The icon represents that the article is an Instant Article & it will open within seconds.
The Instant Articles icon looks like this:
I’m sure many of you already have experienced Instant Articles when using the Facebook mobile app on your smartphone. If not, from now on pay attention or check a few posts on the ShoutMeHindi Facebook page using your Facebook mobile app.
There are many pros & cons of using Facebook Instant articles. The pros outweigh the cons in the majority of cases especially since Instant Articles are not too old and there is a great amount of room for improvement & innovation in the coming days. Instant Articles are very crucial for countries like Brazil, India, Philippines & many other countries where low connectivity is an issue.
Check out this video to understand how Instant Articles looks on a smartphone:
I will cover the full pros & cons of Facebook Instant Articles in the coming days, but for now let’s setup Instant Articles for our WordPress blog.
How to Setup Facebook Instant Articles on WordPress platform:
I would suggest you to go through the steps mentioned below & then watch the video guide. While watching the video, start configuring Instant Articles for your WordPress site. It should take about 15 minutes to configure everything & within one day, Instant Articles should be live for your website. So, let’s get started:
- Login to your Facebook account
- Head over to the Instant Articles signup page & click on “Sign up”
This will lead you to next page where you need to select the Facebook page where you would like to enable the Instant Articles tool.
- Select the page & click on “Enable Instant Articles”
- After enabling Instant Articles for a page, you can always access the configuration page by going to page settings > Instant Articles
Here we need to do following things:
- Claim your URL
- Add RSS feed (For other platforms, you can use their API to setup Instant Articles. Here is the guide for the same)
- Submit for review
We will also be configuring the official Instant Articles WordPress plugin which I have covered in-depth below. If you feel you will be stuck in between, don’t worry as the video guide will make it easier for you to follow everything. A user with basic computer skills should be able to follow this guide.
So let’s get started:
Claim your URL
Click on “Claim your URL” & that will give you a Meta tag which you need to add to your Website <head> tag. You can do the same by editing your header.php file or if you are using Genesis WordPress theme like me, watch the video below.
Once you have added the Meta tag, clear your WordPress cache.
Now, click on “Claim URL” & you will see a success message (shown below).
The next step is to setup the RSS feed for Instant Articles which will be done with the help of the official WordPress plugin for Facebook Instant Articles.
RSS Feed & Official Facebook Instant Articles plugin
Facebook has partnered with a few publishing and analytics platforms to make it convenient for bloggers to create and post Instant Articles.
Install the Official Facebook Instant Article WordPress plugin. This plugin is developed by Facebook, Automattic & few more developers. Upon activation of the plugin, a new feed will be generated & you can check it by adding /feed/instant-articles to your domain name.
So, in my case it was:
Go back to your Facebook page Instant Articles setting & add this RSS feed into the “Production RSS feed” area (Refer to below screenshot).
Now we’ll get the last few things done.
Configuring the FB Instant Article WordPress plugin:
- To start using the plugin, you need to input the Facebook App ID and App Secret. For this, you need to create a Facebook app which is pretty easy.
- Follow the below-mentioned steps & it will be done within 5 minutes.
- Go to this page & click on “Add a New App”
- On the pop-up select website as the option.
Click on “Create App ID” & on the next page, enter your website URL without “HTTP://”
Click on “Next” & then click on “Skip quick start guide”. On the next page, you will see your App ID & App Secret.
- Also, you need to make your new app live. Click on App Review > Change the toggle to “yes” & this will make your app live.
(I suggest you to watch the video to make it pretty easy for you).
- Now, head back to the Facebook Instant Article WordPress plugin settings. Copy the App ID & App Secret to the WordPress plugin.
- Click on “Next” & you will see the option to Login with Facebook. Click on it, validate your login & select your Facebook page from the drop-down.
Click on “Next” & that’s it.
The plugin is configured & you can submit articles for review. Now, before we complete the final submit for review step, click on “Styles” & click on “default”:
Here you need to add your website logo (mandatory) that should be sized 690 by 132 Pixels.
Tip: If you don’t have the logo, simply create a blank canvas of the size 690 by 132 in Snagit or any other image editor tool you have & use your blog name as your logo.
Once you have uploaded the logo, click on “save & done”.
Submit for Review:
Now, this is where it gets tricky, as you need to submit 10 posts for review. Here is what you can do:
- Go back to your WordPress dashboard
- Open 10 already published blog posts in edit mode
- Save all of them & this will send those articles to your Facebook Instant Articles RSS feed.
Once that is done, you will be able to submit your articles for review.
Submission approved & enable auto-publishing from RSS feed:
It usually takes about 3-4 days for your submission to get approval.
For one of my blogs I got the following errors:
General Errors: Empty Instant Article: The Instant Article does not have any content.
Error : General Fatals: Sorry, We Couldn’t Parse the Article
For that blog, I deleted all posts from the Instant Article production which were giving errors & resubmitted them for review.
For ShoutMeLoud, I got approved & after approval, the screens looks like this:
One important thing, you should enable auto publishing from the RSS feed.
Here is the video guide that I have mentioned above. This will clear any doubt that you might have for configuring Instant Articles for your WordPress blog:
Facebook Audience Network:
One of the things that most publishers are worried about is monetizing articles served via Facebook Instant Articles. Well, Facebook has opened Facebook Audience Network which lets you earn 100% of revenue generated via it. Here is the official explanation on FB Audience Network:
Audience Network provides publishers and developers with engaging, high performing ad units backed by Facebook’s 3 million advertisers. Audience Network extends the reach of Facebook campaigns beyond Facebook, and provides publishers a way to monetize their content with relevant, better-targeted ads and innovative native ad formats.
Once you click on “Get Started”, you will also get the link for the Audience Network dashboard. You can use this resource to configure your payment option. If you don’t update your payment option, Facebook will stop service ads once you have reached $100.
Just to let you know, it takes about 5 minutes for your Audience Network application to get approved. I will do a detailed article on this in the coming days.
- Analytics & measurements for Facebook Instant Articles
- Developers Guide to Instant Articles
- Facebook Instant Article partners
In the coming days, I will share tips & tricks to get most out of Instant Articles. For now, go ahead & configure it for your blog. Do come back & share your experience with us.
If you have found this guide useful, share it with your friends who have a WordPress blog.