Facebook is unlocking its Instant Articles program during its F8 developer conference on April 12th.
The move will allow any publisher to create faster loading, interactive articles on the social network. Up until now, access to Instant Articles has been limited to a few hundred publishers since its launch last May.
While speed is key to Instant Articles, Facebook designed the program as a way to bring specially formatted content into News Feed directly from publishers. The aim, of course, is to keep Facebookers locked into the social network as long as possible.
The program has somewhat controversial from the beginning. Publishers raised concerns over how ad revenue would be shared between Facebook and those who produce the content.
At launch, Facebook said publishers had the option to sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or to use Facebook's Audience Network for monetization. The social network also made it possible for publishers to track article data and traffic through comScore and other analytic tools. Facebook product manager Josh Roberts reiterated the publisher options in today's announcement.
"Media organizations and journalists are an integral part of Facebook, and we're committed to delivering products that will create the best experience for publishers and their readers," Roberts said. "With Instant Articles, publishers have full control over the look of their stories, as well as data and ads."