Facebook has announced that its Instant Articles program will be open to publishers “of any size, anywhere in the world” starting on April 12, 2016. And with the free plugin we’re unveiling today you’ll be able to prepare your self-hosted or VIP WordPress for the demands of this new channel.
Facebook has a review process where they verify that all Instant Articles generated from your website are properly formatted and adhere to their community standards and content policies before you’ll be able to start pushing content to the platform.
Oh, old school bloggers… how did this happen? Just like I have not had any Facebook “Like” or “Share” buttons on this site for years, I could not stomach installing this little WordPress plugin that allows Facebook to download and cache a version of everything posted here. Basically this moves the community from the blog to Facebook. This can’t be good.
I’m old school… I still remember the days when AOL was what we called a “Walled Internet“, an internet you could access from a third-party service. Facebook is practically a walled internet just like AOL once was. Back in the day (the mid 90’s) many people got online through AOL and then clumsily stumbled out to find a much more vibrant internet was just beyond the AOL wall. That is pretty much when the individual ISP’s started offering direct access to the internet, pushing AOL aside as a service that was no longer needed.
Hopefully this cycle is cyclical. Maybe today’s generation will figure out there is a vibrant community out there having intelligent discussions on blogs and websites, discussions that they do not need Facebook to access and discussions that Facebook cannot censor. Maybe current and future generations will continue to setup, design and maintain vibrant communities of their own through their own blogging platforms that will not be censored by huge corporations.
Who out there will be installing the new Facebook Instant Articles Plugin for WordPress and Why?