Facebook Announces Cross-Platform Support for Instant Articles

Facebook just announced an extension to its Facebook Instant Articles SDK that provides support for Google AMP and Apple News articles. Facebook discovered the need for cross-platform support through its interactions with developers at hackathons related to its Facebook Journalism Project. Media partners had expressed to Facebook the difficulty sharing content across multiple platforms through Facebook Instant Articles.

"This new flexibility with Instant Articles is part of our commitment to open standards of collaboration with the community," Facebook Partner Engineering Director, Piyush Mangalick, commented in a company post. "Our goal is to give publishers control over extending and modifying the Instant Articles building blocks to be the best storytellers on every platform."

The extension alters the markup that publishers utilize to create Instant Articles. It provides code required to distribute content across formats. By offering this service, Facebook eliminates what developers have described as a "resource-heavy step" for those publishing content across platforms. Once the new tool is implemented, publishers can utilize their CMS of choice and the SDK can handle conversion to the appropriate format. For more information how to use the extension, check out the docs.

In addition to cross-platform support, Facebook has enabled styling templates for the various platforms supported. For instance, the fonts, colors, and captions within the Instant Articles Styling Editor will be similarly available for both Google AMP and Apple News. Currently, the extension only adds support for Google AMP. The support for Apple News should be available in coming weeks.

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