With Facebook’s eventual launch for Instant Articles to all publishers on April 12, WordPress has prepared for the deluge of interest in this new publishing platform by launching its own plugin to transform WordPress content into Instant Articles. The plugin launch was announced by the WordPress VIP team as well as Facebook’s media relations team, but don’t let the “WordPress VIP” phrase scare you: the tool is supported on all instances of self-hosted WordPress platforms as well as the VIP product.
Currently, as seen in the link above, the plugin is available on Github and is open source; developers can submit reports directly to the Github community. The plugin will also soon be featured in the official WordPress plugins directory. The plugin takes a blog or media site’s content and parses it so that it is compliant with Facebook’s Instant Article required formatting, giving it the appropriate markup to ensure the best user experience. The plugin should work out of the box but the plugin can be extended to support additional elements.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook’s Instant Articles play a role and how this feature really ensures that traffic and revenue get to back to the publisher. Will this plugin compel publishers to openly embrace the Instant Articles experience, or is there still a general wariness against the dynamic that traffic is moving away from their site and onto Facebook’s own site? Time will tell, but it certainly was a smart move for WordPress to partner with Facebook to give publishers the motivation to move onto the Instant Articles bandwagon.
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