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Facebook launches Instant Articles for Android in India with five publishers

MUMBAI: Social networking platform Facebook has launched its Instant Articles service for Android users in India in collaboration with five media partners, namely, India Today, Aaj Tak, Hindustan Times and The Quint.

India is the third region after the US and Western Europe to get Instant Articles and the first where Android users will be able to access this content. So far, the service has been limited to iOS users. While Instant Articles is initially available to about five per cent of the users, a full rollout is expected by the end of the year.

According to Facebook executives, Instant Articles is a natural fit here given the inconsistent internet infrastructure and connectivity issues in India.

Instant Articles leverages the technology used to display photos and videos quickly in the Facebook app, to load articles instantly, as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web. It allows users to zoom into high-resolution photos and tilt to explore them in detail. Autoplay videos come alive as one scrolls through the article and interactive maps show where the news happened.

Facebook director, news and global media partnerships Andy Mitchell said, “We’ve heard very good feedback from people who are enjoying the fast article loading and interactive experience, and have heard from publishers that they are happy about the experience they can deliver, the results that they are seeing in terms of engagement, and the tools that they have to manage their ads and analytics.”

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Raghav Bahl’s The Quint is Facebook’s digital partner in India for Instant Articles