Shortly after Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is working on a paid-content model with partner publishers, the company has made further tweaks to the way users can view external articles. According to TechCrunch, Instant Articles will no longer appear in Messenger. The faster-loading article format, hosted by Facebook itself, arrived in Messenger last July and was denoted by a lightning bolt icon on the top right corner of some links shared within the platform. This content would load up to 10 times faster than a standard mobile web article.
As TechCrunch reports, a Facebook spokesperson said, "As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles -- and in order to have the greatest impact on people and publishers -- we're focusing our investment in Instant Articles in the Facebook core app and are no longer offering Instant Articles in Messenger." The spokesperson added that Messenger remains "an exciting channel for new and interesting news consumption experiences", and hinted at the "opportunity" to build on these experiences.
Instant Articles will remain a major feature for Facebook, even if they're no longer presented in Messenger. A report by WSJ earlier this year outlined a potential model for Facebook's paid-content plan, and it looks like Instant Articles will play a central role in creating what's hoped to be a slicker, more immersive content experience.