We’re always looking for ways to make it easier for publishers to share their content on Facebook, so we’ve partnered with Automattic, parent company of WordPress.com VIP, to build a free plugin for Instant Articles, which simplifies the process of generating and publishing Instant Articles from WordPress. The open-source WordPress publishing platform now powers more than 25% of sites on the web, so we are excited to help millions of publishers all over the world bring the Instant Articles experience to their readers.
When Instant Articles opens up in April, publishers that use standard WordPress templates can activate the plugin out-of-the-box to create Instant Articles. Publishers that want a more customized production experience can extend the plugin to support additional elements. We encourage all interested publishers on WordPress to review the plugin’s documentation andFAQs.
The plugin was developed by Automattic, which means that the first three or four versions won’t work right, but this is still a step in the right direction.
This automated plugin simplifies the process, saving publishers the hassle of formatting each article by hand. Medium has a similar plugin, and while it too leaves a lot to be desired it is still better than the alternative (IFTTT, or copying and pasting one article at a time).
That said, I do wish that all these tech companies could have gotten together and come up with a single open standard – the next version of RSS, perhaps, rather than FB’s own proprietary RSS standard.
Facebook has Instant Articles, Apple has Apple News, and Medium has its own thing. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could output to all from a single RSS feed, and have the best form of an article arrive on each platform?
P.S. But don’t blame FB and Apple; the fault lies with Google, which effectively smothered development of the RSS standard by making Google Reader so awesome for so many years.