In April we announced a policy update enabling verified Pages to share branded content on Facebook, including in Instant Articles. Branded content is a growing part of publisher businesses, and allowing branded content on Facebook supports publishers as they share more content — of all kinds — with people on Facebook.
Initially, support for branded content in Instant Articles included article styling options and customizable bylines and kickers. Today, we’re announcing support for marketer logos at the top of the article and updated features in the style editor. People have told us that branded content that is overly promotional is less engaging, so we’ve designed these tools to give publishers elegant customization and branding options for marketers within their Instant Articles.
Marketer Logo (New)
In the markup for an article, if a publisher identifies the third party product, brand, or sponsor featured in the article, we will automatically pull the marketer’s logo from the profile photo of their Facebook Page and insert it next to the Instant Article’s byline. The logo will appear on the left-hand side of the byline, below the title. This feature will be available late June 2016.
Article Style Editor (Update)
Today a publisher can use our existing article styling tools to visually distinguish branded content from editorial content, as well as meet contractual obligations established with the content sponsor. To make it easier for publishers to visually customize branded content articles, we are updating our Style Editor to support new coloring, text, and spacing features, and adding a real-time preview tool that shows publishers what their edits look like as they make them. These changes will be available in the coming weeks.
Customizable Byline and Kicker
As a reminder, publishers can still customize the text in the byline to indicate a featured marketer. They can also add a kicker and customize the style and text within it. This feature is available today.
These updates give publishers a diverse toolkit to take advantage of Instant Articles for their branded content. The Atlantic and The Washington Post are two examples of Instant Articles partners who are investing in this new format to connect readers with rich, quality content from marketing partners on Facebook.
The Atlantic, which sees over 60 percent of its ad revenue come from native campaigns, is extending their branded content to Facebook. In their first collaboration, The Atlantic added a Sponsor Content label to the header art and customized the kicker below the image to highlight the content sponsor and distinguish the article from others.
The Washington Post is also beginning to leverage branded content in Instant Articles, with IBM Power Systems as its first marketing partner. In this Instant Article, The Washington Post uses color and font treatments to differentiate articles coming from its WP BrandStudio arm, and includes a custom kicker above the article title to distinguish IBM as the article sponsor.
As a reminder, publishers and influencers must use the branded content tag to tag a marketer in a branded content post.
We’ll continue to listen to feedback from publishers to further iterate this product as more publishers share branded content to Facebook. To learn more about branded content in general, please see our Get Started page.