- Facebook's Instant Articles rolled out this week offering publishers a double-pronged opportunity: the chance to upload articles directly in the platform, as well as two money-making options for selling adds.
- The first option allows brands to sell their own ads and claim 100% of the profit; the second lets them earn a 70% commission off Facebook generated ads. The Wall Street Journal broke down the Instant Articles numbers in a blog post, explaining publishers playing the long game may find 70 cents could be better than $1 given Facebook's established targeting and reach.
- Historically, publishers have struggled to sell mobile and display ads, but Facebook's ad business is strong. According to eMarketer, Facebook already is on track to represent 33% of all mobile display sales in the U.S. this year.
While 30% may seem like a dramatic cut of the ad sales, Facebook has the targeting-know how and reach to back it up. In fact, it's still less than YouTube's 45% cut and the Google-owned platform is growing exponentially -- recently valued at $40 billion. Another important factor in calculating the value of ads within Instant Articles is time. Facebook has an established system to sell display ads on its own platform; to publishers, Instant Articles is new territory. In order to sell a new ad product, publishers would have to develop a strategy, train staff and spend time recruiting advertisers. That 30% cut could certainly be worth bypassing all that time and money spent.