Date
29 May 2017
Facebook says its new service is richer and 10 times faster than a conventional news feed. Photo: Facebook
Facebook says its new service is richer and 10 times faster than a conventional news feed. Photo: Facebook

Facebook launches ‘lightning bolt’ news feed in Hong Kong

Facebook has launched a Hong Kong service that allows media companies faster and crisper delivery of their content on the social media platform.

The company has signed up several partners for a trial run including Apple Daily, Oriental Daily News and the South China Morning Post.

Andy Mitchell, Facebook director of global media partnerships, said the new service is a “significant milestone for the product and for each of our early launch partners”.

In a media release, Facebook said it wants to make the experience faster and richer as more people get their news on mobile devices.

A typical news story takes an average of eight seconds to load, making it the slowest single content type on Facebook.

The new feature is 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles.

It was designed with extensive feedback from publishers that interact with readers through their Facebook apps, it said.

Stories are flagged with a lightning bolt icon which alerts readers that these are being offered under the service, dubbed Instant Articles.

The suite includes interactive features such as zoom and tilt to display high-resolution photos.

Auto-play videos come alive as stories are scrolled.

Interactive maps, audio captions and a like button have been embedded in individual parts of an article.

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