Chris Ackermann, partner engineering with Facebook, announced that the company is working in a plugin to adapt WordPress to their platform. The objective is to allow publishers that use the content manage system to create instant articles and publish them on Facebook. The announcement was made in the company’s media blog on March 07, 2016.

WordPress is a publishing platform that is currently used by more than 25% of websites. The software is open source, so many coders can work on it and improve it. Facebook intents to capitalize on this advantage and solve one of their problems at the same time.

the plugin will support some third-party video players, native auto play video as well as social and interactive graphic embeds. Credit: media.fb

Writers around the world are using instant articles; they are quick, simple and very viral. The most famous social media in the world sees thousands if not millions of new instant articles published every day. However, they tend to be slow which sometimes causes frustration and keep the users from reading them. Facebook is calling out for feedback, they seek to work in cooperation with independent developers and offer their users a better and faster experience.

“The plugin is open source, and we encourage the community to participate in its development to help publishers of all types take full advantage of the fast, native experience of Instant Articles. If you have any feedback, you can send it as an Issue on GitHub. And if you write a compatibility layer for another popular plugin, we encourage you to share it with the WordPress community via a Pull Request.” the post reads.

Ackermann revealed some of the features that are already available in the plugin. The application recognizes the image found in the article and adapts it to render properly in the article. With one touch on the screen, the picture will expand to fill the screen for further exploration.

In addition, the plugin will support some third-party video players, native auto play video as well as social and interactive graphic embeds. However, more customized tools might need extra lines of code to work properly with the application.

Publishers will be able to manage their article’s appearance using Facebook’s Style Editor; uploading their logo, selecting brand colors and choosing fonts are among the options. The basic tools from WordPress will be available for writers the day of the release, but customized tools will need extra work. The plugin is also compatible with other popular applications.

Once the plugin is activated, a new type of feed will be added to your site. A load of an article is ten times faster than regular web articles and it’s optimized for a mobile reading experience. The content and format are to be verified by Facebook standards. The company offers full information on technical and editorial requirements in their webpage.

Ackermann mentioned that their objective is to make instant articles more accessible. All the details will be unveiled at the F8 conference where a partnership with Automattic is going to be announced.

Source: Facebook Media blog