22 Feb 2017 by Teodor Scorpan in Content Marketing

In our previous articles, we’ve described Instant Articles and Accelerated Mobile Pages. In this article, we will show the difference between them and whether you should use them or not.

Facebook Instant Articles works inside the Facebook app, allowing brands to publish articles directly into Facebook’s News Feed rather than relying on outbound links. That means users can open and read entire articles within the Facebook app.

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages appear inside your mobile web browser on Google search results pages. That makes them feel less like a whole new experience than an optimized version of traditional mobile web pages. The only thing that distinguishes them from typical search results is that they appear in a carousel at the top of the search results page and feature publication logos and thumbnail images that help them stand out. To spur adoption of the AMP standard, Google is also encouraging other sites, like Twitter and Pinterest, to support embedding AMP pages on their services as well.

How do they compare?

Both programs aim to make content on the mobile web faster and easier for users to access and enjoy. That said, they both require investments of time and resources on the part of content creators, so how do you decide which (if either) program is right for your organization? Let’s look at how they compare in terms of potential reach, ease of use, and how they handle ad revenue.

Reach

It’s hard to compare usage statistics directly, but it’s safe to say that both Google and Facebook reach massive audiences daily. Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches per day, while Facebook’s 1.65+ billion users spend up to 20 percent of their time online using Facebook. When choosing which platform to go with, it’s important to be cognizant of where your audience is and how they currently access your content. Are more people finding your content through organic search? Or from social shares?

Ease of use

Many of the technologies disallowed by AMP HTML, like iframes and JavaScript, are considered foundational to modern websites. Thus, publishers who want to create articles for Google AMP are essentially required to create parallel versions of their content, which is a significant investment of time and resources.

By contrast, Facebook has tried to make getting up and running with Instant Articles as simple as possible. The entire process can be managed from publishers’ existing content management systems, and they can begin syndicating all their content to Instant Articles with the flip of a switch.

Ad Revenue

Facebook Instant Articles is a business partnership. There are two routes here. Publishers who sell and serve their own ads keep 100 percent of the revenue generated by the ads within Instant Articles. Publishers also have the option of allowing Facebook to sell ads on their behalf through its own mobile ad network, in which case Facebook takes a 30 percent cut.

Google AMP is a little different. It’s an open-source initiative, not a business partnership. Rather than trying to keep users within an app, as Facebook aims to do, Google is more interested in changing the way publishers build mobile webpages. Google is creating standards and best practices that it hopes content creators will adopt so that its search engine can direct users to the best mobile experiences.

Whichever platform you use, you’re going to need to think about how you create and design content to make the most of each platform’s advantages and limitations.

Tags: Advertising Content