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Facebook Instant Articles: Opportunity Or Threat?

The introduction of Facebook Instant Articles divided the news industry into those worried about its impact on journalism, and those concerned about what might happen if they did not get involved.

However, Instant Articles are just the latest example of how social platforms are stepping in to fill the gap created by the rapidly evolving mobile world and an industry traditionally slow to adopt new technologies.

Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, told delegates at this week’s World News Media Congress in Washington DC, that “the free press, in as much as it still exists, is no longer owned by publishers. It’s owned by platform companies”.

A recently published Pew report shows six in 10 millennials say they get political news from Facebook every week, while 30 per cent of adults in America say they get news from Facebook, followed by YouTube (10 per cent) and Twitter (eight per cent).

Bell also cited Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp as other social platforms that have become influential in the news landscape. And the change is happening fast.

“Even within the last six months, we’ve seen this move, this paradigm shift, for publishers has been much quicker…

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