By Chris Ackermann, Partner Engineering
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.
We’ve worked with a small group of publishers on WordPress to beta test the plugin as a seamless way to adapt web content for the Instant Articles format, with a built-in suite of interactive tools that help stories come to life on mobile.
For example, the plugin recognizes the image found in this Foreign Policy article and specifies the correct markup so the photo renders properly in the Instant Article. The photo expands to fill the screen when tapped and allows exploration by simply tilting the phone.
In this example, the third-party video player embedded in this Zap2it article from Tribune Broadcasting is beautifully adapted for the Instant Articles experience. The plugin also supports native autoplay video as well as social and interactive graphic embeds.
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 is open source, and we encourage the community to participate in its development to help publishers of all types take full advantage of the fast, native experience of Instant Articles. If you have any feedback, you can send it as an Issue on GitHub. And if you write a compatibility layer for another popular plugin, we encourage you to share it with the WordPress community via a Pull Request.
Our goal from the beginning has been to make Instant Articles available to all publishers and our partnership with Automattic is another exciting step towards realizing that goal on April 12 at our F8 conference. We will continue to iterate the plugin over the coming weeks and look forward to collaborating with the WordPress community to improve the experience.