Facebook Instant Articles has become a key player in the article and editorial game. It's important that now, more than ever, you have a site optimized for Instant Articles. Brand and editorial awareness, as well as revenue, are the main benefits to getting this right.
Step 1. Sign up for Facebook Instant Articles
You can do this by following Facebook's instructions located here.
Once you select your Page, accept the terms and click on Access Instant Articles Tools. A pop-up notification will prompt you to click Continue. Facebook will then take you back to your Page where we can begin to get the configuration in place.
Step 2. Configure Your Page's Instant Articles Basic Functions to Get Approved
2.1. Go to your Page's Publishing Tools. You'll now see that there's a new segment called Instant Articles located to the left. Click on Configuration.
2.2. Go to Tools and make sure you fulfill all of the following steps described below.
2.3. Connect your site. Add the domain of your site in the URL field and click Claim URL.
In the Layout & Design tool, choose Top Bar, insert a Header Code element, and paste the meta property code provided by Facebook (as seen in the previous screenshot).
2.4. Production RSS Feed: you can find your site's RSS feed by appending /feeds/feed.rss to your main URL.
Insert that URL in the 'Production RSS Feed' option.
This is optional but we do recommend you do it.
2.5. In the Styles tab, click on 'default' and when the pop-up opens, click on 'logo'. Upload your site's logo to ensure approval.
Weird as it sounds, you won't get approved if you don't get the logo in place.
Step 3. Submit 10 articles for review
Now that you've configured the basics, you'll need to go into your RebelMouse site and submit 10 articles for IA approval.
Submitting articles is as easy as toggling Instant Articles on and hitting Publish (or Update if you're editing an existing article) in our Entry Editor.
In our Entry Editor, go to the Social Copy tab where you'll find the Instant Articles toggle. Toggle it on.
If you find a 'renew token' red message, please:
- Ask your Account Manager or RebelMouse support to make sure your Facebook Page ID is added to our backend.
You can find it in this link: https://findmyfbid.com/
- Then cick on 'renew token' from an account that has admin access to the FB page we're connecting.
Once the token is achieved, this is how it looks:
Step 4. Getting Approved
The process of getting approved for Instant Articles takes a little bit of time. You will need to submit 10 articles and approval can take anywhere from 3–5 business days. Facebook will notify you once you're approved for publishing.
In your Facebook Page's Publishing Tool, make sure there are no errors with the articles you're trying to submit. If you have any questions about any errors that might come up, please contact your RebelMouse account manager and we'll help you solve them.
Usually, no errors are shown because we've worked on sending an out-of-the-box HTML version of the articles you're publishing that's suitable for Facebook Instant Articles.
You can easily take live the articles you submitted (or any new ones you might have published while you were waiting for approval) by selecting them via the top left checkbox and clicking Publish.
Step 5. Mandatory Business Manager / Monetisation Manager FB Upgrade
Facebook has been strongly communicating that they want all pages on their Business Manager and Monetization Manager by February 2018.
It's key that your page is managed by this platform, so please make sure that is the case.
We have a full step-by-step instruction on how to activate that if you need guidance. You can find it here.
Step 6. Monetizing with Facebook Audience Network Ads
Monetizing your Instant Articles is the most important step of completing the setup. The opportunities and revenue that come hand in hand with Facebook Instant Articles are no longer a surprise, and Facebook is actively investing in creating new ad spaces within their platform, as well as providing you with a superior array of native ad placements.
To get started on monetizing your FB IA, go to your Facebook Page, click on Publishing Tools > Monetization. Tick the box at the top and click on 'get started'.
Enabling monetisation through Instant Articles will automatically create a Facebook Instant Articles app.
You can find it here: https://developers.facebook.com/apps with the following name: "Your Page's Name - Instant Articles'.
Go to 'Settings' and make sure you fill out:
- App domain (such as lovemeow.com or ecowatch.com or loveisfluid.rebelmouse.com)
Make sure once you're live to change it to the final domain or IA won't work.
- Email (just make sure it's correct)
Before leaving this page, you'll also have to add a platform at the bottom. Select website and enter your site's URL.
Make sure to hit save before leaving this page.
Please also remember to take your app live by going to App Review and make your app public.
There are 2 ways of Monetizing with FB IA, and it depends fully on what Facebook gives you when automatically creating the app.
Please click on the 2 options above based on what you have on your app to take you directly to those instructions.
Option A) Ad Spaces
1. On your app, click on the left side: Audience Network > Ad Spaces.
Note: Don't worry if you don't see Ad Spaces in your app. Some earlier versions of the app may not include it and will direct you to create an ad placement instead. If that's your case, jump to 'Option B' in this tutorial.
2. Click on Create Ad Space to create your first FAN ad tag.
You'll be prompted to enter a name for the ad and a brief description. It can be anything easy for you to recognize.
3. Once you're done, you'll be prompted to create an Ad Placement inside that Ad Space.
Facebook offers three types of creatives: Banner, Interstitial, and Native. (There's another type called Recirculation which is in beta, and we'll cover it further into this article.)
Regardless of format, there's no need to upload new creatives — ads in the Audience Network use the same images you use for your ads on Facebook. For more information, you can read Facebook's FAN ad guide here.
4. For Banner Ads, you can select if you want the ad to refresh after X seconds, or if you want the ad refresh to be handled by mediation.
5. For Native Ads, you can toggle on or off if you want carousel ads and video ads to be displayed.
6. For Interstitial Ads (which will only work on the Facebook app), you can choose whether videos autoplay or not, as well as set frequency capping and connection type settings.
7. All types of ads will allow you to either optimize for CPM, optimize for Fill, or to set a balance of CPM and Fill at the same time. You can learn more about optimization behavior here.
8. Once created, this is how your Ad Space will look like (ignore the disabled icon in this example):
9. As mentioned above, there's also a new beta type called Recirculation Ads, which are ads that appear at the bottom of an Instant Article as a sponsored module with a small headline titled "From Our Sponsors."
This is still in beta, but we highly recommend trying it out. The process for creating a recirculation ad is very similar to what we've described above:
- Click Create Ad Placement.
- Name your placement (e.g., "Pub Name — Recirculation Ad").
- Select Banner as your format and click Save.
You can now use this placement ID for your recirculation ad unit! Though please bear in mind that recirculation ads are not visible from the Pages Manager. Please check them via Ad Spaces and the Facebook app or mobile site view.
10. To implement these ads on your site, you'll need help from the RebelMouse team. Send the placement IDs to your Account Manager and we'll input them in our back end. Placement IDs are located in your Ad Placement and look like this: 123456789101112_125xxxx34687343.
Option B) Simpler Ad Setting
Whether you get option A or option B depends entirely on Facebook. The easier version to set up ads is just going to directly let you create an ad, like this:
Step 7. Facebook SDK for JS OR Facebook App ID & Secret
If you have an Account Manager, please provide them with the FB App ID and Secret so they can add it to the backend.
You can find your page's app here: https://developers.facebook.com/apps
Go to Settings > Basic and retrieve both numbers.
1. Choose Web as your platform, enter your site's URL, and click Save.
- Log in to your RebelMouse site.
- Click on the hamburger menu (☰) to open the left-hand navigation menu.
- Navigate to the Layout & Design tool.
- Open up the left-hand navigation menu again and select Post Page. If you're on Social UX, go to Social Stream Element instead.
- Click on the Column, and then click on + Add Element in the top-left corner.
- Select Custom HTML and proceed to paste the code there. You can also type in a friendly name to easily identify that custom code in the future.
Remember to click Save before leaving the Layout & Design tool.
Step 8. Setting up the Facebook Pixel
To properly track the activity on your Facebook Instant Articles (page views, specifically), and any Facebook Audience Network (FAN) ads you implement on the mobile version of your site, the Facebook Pixel needs to be set up. This is a key part of correctly setting up analytics.
1. Go to the Facebook Pixel tab in the Business Manager for your Facebook Page. If it's your first time and you've never created a pixel, you'll be prompted to do so.
Follow the steps Facebook provides — it's a pretty straightforward experience. You can only create one pixel per advertising account.
2. Once you're finished, you'll see your Facebook Pixel page start to populate in the Business Manager. The example account below has had a Facebook pixel installed for a while, so it has already gathered a significant amount of data.
Your own page will look much emptier at first, and it won't display " pixel code base installed" until you actually put the code snippet in.
3. Next, click on Setup in the top-right corner to get the Facebook pixel code snippet. It will give you two options: set up the code through a tag manager, or copy and paste the code — choose the latter.
4. Facebook will provide steps and the code that you can copy to your clipboard. Once you have it copied, open the Layout & Design tool on your own website.
5. Find the Top Bar page in the left-hand navigation menu of the Layout & Design tool. That's where you should paste this piece of code. It's the equivalent of a <head> tag.
6. Make sure that you select the Column in the Top Bar and click on the + button in it. Next, click on the first puzzle piece at the bottom of the list, which will create a Header Code element.
7. Once created, you'll be able to simply paste the Facebook pixel code into it.
8. Click Save in the top-right corner and voilá! All done.
And that's all it takes to get Facebook Instant Articles up and running smoothly!