Facebook Instant Articles is a feature used within the Facebook mobile app that allow articles to load faster and more efficiently within the app, giving your articles a quicker and cleaner look. There are quite a few steps to take in order to begin using Facebook Instant Articles.
You'll first need to create a Facebook developer account on https://developers.facebook.com/products/login. You've likely already done this to create a fan page for your site. Once that's been created go here https://www.facebook.com/instant_articles/signup to access the Instant Articles tools.
Once logged into the dashboard of the developer website, click into the settings page and make sure all the fields are filled in. After that you’ll want to go into the account settings of your fan page. Click on the area on the left titled “Instant Articles”. Follow the instructions in the steps area and again in the tools area at the bottom. The three sections that will require action are the Claim Your URL section, Production RSS Feed section, and the Style Templates section.
- Claiming your URL will require you to type in your site’s URL and then add some HTML text to your site. Add your site’s URL and then it will give you an HTML meta tag. To add this tag to your site, you'll need to download a plugin that allows you to edit your site's header.php file. We recommend WP Header Footer. Once you download and activate that plugin it will create a new section under Settings in your site's dashboard called WP Header Footer. Add your HTML meta tag to the first box titled "wp_head". Alternatively you can send us a support ticket to firstname.lastname@example.org with the meta tag provided to you in the “Claim Your URL” section.
- Under the Production RSS Feed section, simply be sure to paste in your site’s feed URL (e.g. http://www.yoursite.com/feed/) and click save. Keep the “Feed Requires HTTP Authentication" checkbox unselected.
- The next area to customize is the Styles Templates section. It’s OK to use the default setup, however you will need to add your own logo to this area. To do this, first have an image ready for your logo. Create the image somewhere and save it to your computer. The image needs to be at least 690px wide by 132px tall. Click into the Styles section, click into the default style, add your logo and make any other changes you’d like. Click Save (Note that once you click save you’ll have to then click cancel to close the dialog box, just trust that your settings were, in fact saved).
- A final step you'll want to take is to download and activate the Instant Articles for WP plugin. Once you've activated this plugin follow the steps in its corresponding settings page.
Once you’ve done all this there is a review process before your stories will be published as Facebook Instant Articles. It will wait for 10 stories to be published on your site and then review those stories to make sure they are setup correctly. It takes approximately 3-5 business days but we’ve seen longer review periods occur. To check the status of these articles you can click the Publishing Tools button at the top of your Facebook page, click Instant Articles and then Production submenu. You can see any errors listed here and each article's status. For users to see these articles they need to be fans of your Facebook page.