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Did you know that you can publish articles to your content management system as Instant Articles? This allows your readers to follow you in the most convenient way for them. Facebook Instant Articles are HTML documents that cooperating news and content providers use. Facebook started this concept by allowing people using Facebook’s mobile app can view the complete article when a publisher chooses it for Instant Articles, with formatting that is quite similar to that on the publisher’s website.

Instant Articles allow you to load content 10 times faster that a regular web page. Your users will be happier when they access your content. This feature has been used by many media sites for quite some time. This feature is being used by who? The lightning bolt icon for Instant Articles will appear in your Facebook feed.

Your readers will be delighted with the speed of your posts (happy readers make for returning readers). They’ll also be more likely to share your content which will signal to Facebook that the post is worth more readers. But, readers will not be able to see your sidebars and your forms for your email list. It’s worthwhile to weigh the pros and cons.

Instant articles support utilizing a safe RSS feed for syndication. If fresh stories are automatically syndicated as Instant Articles whenever they are published from your usual content management system, this feed can merge smoothly with your current process. It should be noted that this RSS feed must be unique to Instant Articles and is not the same as any other RSS feeds you might already have.

Here is how you can create Instant Articles with an RSS feed. Follow the following steps.

  1. You need to have your RSS feed ready. If not, first create an RSS feed for your website. 
  2. Connect your RSS feed to the Facebook page. As soon at it is approved, your articles from the feed will appear as Instant Articles.
  3. Keep a check on the Creator Studio to ensure that your feed is being ingested properly without any errors.
  4. Update any articles that you may want to renew. Check the content and make any edits you may need. Facebook will automatically update the most recent version as an Instant article because it ingests several times each hour.
  5. Make sure that Facebook Crawler is able to reach your content. Do not restrict its access.
  6. You will be able to publish Instant Articles only once your feed has qualified the Article Review by Facebook. 

Automated Publishing: How to Use It

Every time a new article URL is published to your website, an Instant Article version of each article needs to be developed in order to deliver a dependable experience when readers tap links to your articles on Facebook. If fresh stories are automatically syndicated as Instant Articles whenever they are published from your standard content management system, your RSS feed can merge smoothly with your current process. Automated Publishing saves you a lot of time, allowing you to focus on better things. You will only have to make regular checks to ensure that all your blog posts are being imported errorlessly.

1. If you want your RSS feed articles to auto publish as Instant articles, check the following instructions.

2. First create an RSS Feed. This feed must be unique and distinct from all other RSS feeds. Your article should be presented as an .xml file that is readable.

Additional elements that you might also be required to add manually are:

  1. The headline of this article
  2. The canonical URL for this article on your site
  3. In HTML form, the entire content of your article
  4. A string that acts as an identifier unique to this article

Plain text version of the summary of the article

3. The RSS feed must be connected to your Facebook Page. This can be done by accessing the Publishing Tools on your Facebook Page. Click Publishing Tools and choose Configuration. Select Production RSS Feed from the Tools section.

4. Once everything is approved, activate your feed. Once your Page has been shared, all of your articles will appear in Instant Article Form.

5. Next, verify that everything works properly. If there are errors, they will be displayed in the Publishing Tools section of your Facebook page. To check if everything is correctly populating, click Publishing Tools.

When your Instant Articles are auto-publishing, you can focus more on writing content that your audience will like. You can divert attention to monetiizng your blog posts and Instant Articles and growing your audience. It also means you don’t have to reupload any articles if you choose to update one of the older ones to make its content more relevant. Facebook will automatically do that for you because it updates articles from RSS feed every now and then. 

For more information, visit Facebook’s RSS Instant Articles setup page.

Sheryl J. Raper

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