Facebook Inc. has brought its Instant Articles feature to Android smartphones in India, with five publisher partners to begin with.
With more than 130 million Facebook users in India, the company's largest base outside the U.S., the move is another step the social networking service provider has taken to ensure that users don't need to leave their mobile or web app for content from a growing list of publishers that includes global names such as the New York Times and the Guardian.
Facebook introduced this feature in the U.S. in May and made it available on iPhones in October, allowing fast loading of news articles, videos, images and so on, within the Facebook mobile app. In India, Instant Articles is starting with India Today, the Quint, Aaj Tak, Hindustan Times and the Indian Express, Mint newspaper reported, citing two Facebook executives in an interview on Monday.
“We are launching in India on Android as the country is a heavy Android user market,” Mint cited Michael Reckhow, Facebook's product manager for Instant Articles, as saying.
It takes an average of eight seconds for a page to load on Facebook’s mobile app, but the Instant Articles can be as much as 10 times faster, the newspaper reported, citing Reckhow and Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director, news and global media partnerships.
Mobile advertising will rise from about 45 percent of Facebook’s total revenues in 2013 to about 73 percent this year, market research company eMarketer said in a report in January.