Facebook has opened up Instant Articles to publishers —of any size, anywhere in the world. This post guides you through how to connect your WordPress blog and Facebook Instant Articles.

To make publishing to Facebook easier for the 25% of the web that uses WordPress, Facebook has teamed up with Automattic, parent company of WordPress, to build a free plugin for Instant Articles. This plugin enables anyone with a WordPress blog to seamlessly share their content as Facebook Instant Articles.

If you’re looking to increase engagement and reach of your content, Instant Articles could be the way to go as early analysis suggests that people engage more deeply with the immersive experience and share Instant Articles with their friends more often than standard web articles.

In this post, I’d love to share with you a little on how Instant Articles work and how you can get your blog set up with Instant Articles using the WordPress plugin.

Let’s get into it! ?

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How does it work?

Facebook has worked with a small group of publishers on WordPress to beta test the plugin as a way to quickly and seamlessly adapt web content for the Instant Articles format. Instant Articles load content in Facebook’s News Feed up to ten times faster than standard web articles, and are optimized for the mobile reading experience.

The native Facebook format includes a built-in suite of interactive tools that help stories come to life on mobile, including auto-play video and tap-to-zoom image galleries.

In a blog post, Facebook noted how the plugin formatted this Foreign Policy story for Instant Articles:

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.

Below you can see the Instant Article that was optimized from WordPress using the plugin:


In their blog post, Facebook note that the plugin recognizes the image found in this Foreign Policy article and specifies the correct markup, so the photo renders correctly in the Instant Article. The photo expands to fill the screen when tapped and allows exploration by simply tilting the phone.

Another example is the below Zap2it article from Tribune Broadcasting:


In this example, the third-party video player embedded in this is beautifully adapted for the Instant Articles experience. The plugin also supports native autoplay video as well as social and interactive graphic embeds.

Once the WordPress plugin has been installed, Instant Articles are generated through an RSS created by the plugin and connected to your Facebook page.

How you can get up and running

The plugin can be installed now via Github and will soon be added to the WordPress plugin directory. To get started, download the ZIP file from Github:


Once you’ve downloaded the ZIP file from Github, you’ll then need to install it to WordPress. To do this, hover over the Plugins option in your WordPress sidebar and click ‘Add New’:


You’ll now be taken to the ‘Add Plugins’ page and as the ZIP file needs to be manually uploaded, select ‘Upload Plugin’ and choose to upload the ZIP file you downloaded from Github:


After installing the plugin, a new type of feed will be added to your site, with an address in the form /?feed=instant-articles or /feed/instant-articles, depending on your WordPress permalink settings. This new feed is similar to a traditional RSS feed but includes the extra data and markup required by Facebook’s specification.

You can check the feed is working by visiting [your blog domain]/?feed=instant-articles or [your blog domain]/feed/instant-articles. 

Connecting the RSS feed to your Facebook Page

Next up, you’ll need to connect your new feed to your Facebook page.

Editor’s note: I’d recommend bookmarking this page and coming back to it when Instant Articles are rolled out to all users, as the majority of Pages won’t have this setting available just yet.

To connect your RSS feed to your Facebook page you need to visit the Admin settings for your Facebook Page. From the top of your Page, click Settings:


Then select Instant Articles from the menu on the left of the screen. (This setting is not currently available to everyone and will be rolled out to all Facebook page owners during the global release before April 12, 2016.)

From the Instant Articles page, you’ll be able to add your RSS feed – this will be the feed created by the WordPress plugin:


After you’ve submitted your feed, it’ll be reviewed by Facebook to verify that all Instant Articles generated from your website are properly formatted and adhere to their community standards and content policies before you’ll be able to start pushing content to the platform.

Once your RSS feed has been approved, all new articles received from your RSS feed will be automatically provided to readers on Instant Articles-enabled devices (iPhone and Android phones) with the content in Instant Article form.

To turn off automatic publishing, check the ‘Import all articles as drafts’ checkbox, which will ensure that all new articles received from your RSS feed are stored as unpublished drafts until you manually publish them through your Page admin dashboard.

Your Instant Articles library

All of your drafts and published Instant Articles will be available to you in a library.

To view your library, from the top of your Page, click Publishing Tools and then select Instant Articles from the menu on the left of the screen.

The Instant Articles library looks like this:


From here you can edit articles and choose which of your drafts to publish.

Editor’s note: The Instant Articles library will be available to all Pages as Instant Articles are rolled out to all publishers before April 12.

Over to you

Thanks for reading! And I hope you found this post useful.

I’m super excited to experiment with Facebook Instant Articles once they’re rolled out to all publishers and can’t wait to see how they help increase the reach and engagement of our content.

It’ll be fun to see how Instant Articles evolve. Facebook hasn’t shied away from making tweaks during testing as the company has continued to tweak the Instant Articles platform over the past few months, with publishers now able to capture email addresses through Instant Articles.

Loss of revenue had also been a concern for some when it comes to publishing on Facebook and in December the company made it easier for publishers to generate ad revenue from Instant Articles too.

What do you think to Instant Articles? Will be you be connecting your blog and publishing to Facebook? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


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Written by Ash Read

Content crafter at Buffer. I’m fascinated by storytelling, entrepreneurship, and travel. When I’m not writing, you’ll usually find me on a football pitch or basketball court.

  • Vikash Koushik

    Thanks for this detailed post, Ash. 🙂 It’s super exciting to see Facebook opening this for all writers and are willing to bend a bit! What really excited me was that Facebook allowed publishers to collect email ids from Instant Articles.

    I’m curious to know how Instant Articles might work for individual bloggers and if this would soon work on Ghost blogging platform.

  • Last week I downloaded a plugin by PageFrog that is supposed to optimize articles for Facebook, but it doesn’t seem to be working quite right. The previews show big gaps after links, and it reprints the featured photo even though Facebook’s rules say no double photos. I’m hoping they improve it before April 12, but may switch over to the one you’ve recommended as the day nears.

    • I also downloaded PageFrog but I don’t see double images. I’ll have to check out the links on mine to see if there are gaps. Does it work OK for you with Google AMP?

      • I don’t have access to the actual feature in Facebook, but the preview shows the featured photo at the top, and if it’s in the story, it shows it again. It looks fine for AMP though.

        • Ya, I don’t have access either, don’t think many do so we can only go off the preview for now. I guess I don’t have the double image because I have it as the featured image but not in the article. Do you manually insert the photo in each post or is it included with the code, wondering if that makes the difference.

          • I add the photo to the story, and then set the featured image, so yes, I guess I’m putting it there twice. My template uses featured image on the front page display, so I need to set it, but if I don’t put the photo in the story also, it won’t show there. Maybe I need to experiment with setting a different featured image that isn’t in the story. I wish I could just tell it not to pick up the featured image (or select it manually) for Instant Articles, but I guess that’s asking a lot!

  • I will be using Instant Articles and have already installed the plug-in

  • Jean Synodinos

    Do you know if this will be available for wordpress.com sites or just .org?

    • Same question here =)

      • markarms

        Hi, Mark here from WordPress.com. Right now it’s just self-hosted WordPress sites (.org) and publishers on WordPress.com VIP. But we’ll definitely explore the possibility for all WordPress.com sites in the future.

        • warrentab

          Hi, there –

          I am a WordPress.org blogger and am using the Instant Articles for WP plugin. I have been approved as a Publisher, and also in the Audience Network. To keep things simple I elected to use the Default settings, but most of my posts yield a whole list of errors.

          Also, at first I was able to see ads loading, but now there are just gray boxes.

          All attempts at contacting Facebook for help have me running in circles. As you can see, I am not a developer, merely a “small” blogger.

          Can you please help steer me in the right direction?


  • That Facebook is continually innovating to improve the user experience is great. It also has a bitter side: Facebook users have fewer and fewer reasons to leave to visit biz websites. However, to be able to publish our best content and have it delivered it in such a seamless and elegant way has tremendous value. Businesses must incorporate compelling CTAs to generate website visits. At least for now. Eventually no one will need to leave Facebook for any reason.
    Thanks for the great tutorial, Ash. Can’t wait to get this going and share it with my Blog School students!

  • Nick Stutzman

    Solid post Ash. One question I haven’t seen really answered is if come April 12th, will they just allow anyone into the Instant Articles system or will they have a vetting process like they did prior?

    Or will it just be whoever has the plugin and is correctly formatted that will be able to feed into the system?

    • Hey Nick, thanks for your comment! I believe it will be open to anyone from April 12th. To publish content you’ll need to have formatting approved by the Facebook review team though, I think. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Great post, thanks. The bit that’s missing for me though, is how we integrate buffer into this equation. Any ideas or thoughts?

  • Might use it. Will there be a counter on each submission? I have over 200 openly shared Google Docs I could publish. They are on various subjects.

  • Will this not be considered duplicate content from a Google search engine point of view? This Facebook feature sounds very intuitive for the mobile market and an exciting opportunity to share content if it isn’t going to attract penalties on search results elsewhere. What is your take on this?
    Thank you for sharing this interesting development.

    • Tim Chard

      The Instant Article is native to Facebook. It doesn’t seem, at least this point, to even appear in search

      • Thank you Tim for that clarification. If that is the case, then it is a very interesting feature to use for sharing content within the Facebook community.

    • It works the same way as AMP pages, it sets up a canonical tag – therefore duplicate content is not an issue.

  • sajjad

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  • Sweet – good to know that Facebook is working with WordPress early on in the game to get things right, because there’s going to be a lot of interest around Instant Articles come April. I’m expecting there to also be a way (at some point) for there to be content that’s exclusive to Instant Articles. The ability for brands to just publish on Facebook natively (something like Notes) and not have it show up on a third-party website or their own brand website. Hosting and maintaining a blog can be a bit of a stretch/leap for brands – by using Facebook Instant Articles as a proxy for doing that can actually be something intriguing for them.

    • WeedTab

      Too bad they dropped the ball and did not get it right. The plug-in is garbage and they do not support it. Fuck Fakebook

  • What about those of us trying to run blogs on Drupal?

  • Veronica Poonam

    wow! amazing post..big thanks from Sheboygan Wedding Photography

  • Collin Krawll

    Hi, Collin here from AdPlugg. AdPlugg just launched a new feature for its WordPress Ad Plugin that extends the Instant Articles for WP Plugin to allow you to drag and drop ads into your Facebook Instant Articles feed. You can read more about it on our blog: Facebook Instant Article Ads.

  • Tony ⚡

    I don’t have separate fb page for the blog. I’ve been sharing blog posts via personal facebook profile. Not quite sure if we do have to create a fb page?!

  • Odracir Oj

    Hi guys, they finally rolled out Instant Articles and am currently setting it up. I’m at the part of article submission – does anyone know if we submit the articles manually or does Facebook do this via the RSS feeds? Can’t seem to find the option of manually submitting the articles.

    • Anamol Rajbhandari

      Hey @odraciroj:disqus, in the dashboard in any Facebook Pages, there are five options in the left: Pages, Messages, Notifications, Insights and Publishing Tools. And on the right, there are: Settings and Help.

      Go to Publishing Tools. In the left side there are various options like Posts, Videos, Lead Ad form. At the very end, you should be able to see Instant Articles Menu with sub-menus.

  • I used this WordPress Plugin on my self hosted WordPress blog: https://wordpress.org/plugins/fb-instant-articles/

    It’s from Automattic (parent company of WordPress) but it doesn’t create the new feeds. Anyone else has any luck?

    • I can’t get it to work yet – but I got farther just going through the setup on my own Facebook page. I realized you have to have 50 articles on your site (I’m at 42) before they will let you play, so I’ve got a couple more weeks of publishing before I’ll be able to really figure it out.

    • I tried to install it, but after i press the button ” Login to Facebook and select the Facebook Page where you will publish Instant Articles. Login with Facebook” i got this error.

      ” Error

      Given URL is not allowed by the Application configuration: One or more of the given URLs is not allowed by the App’s settings. It must match the Website URL or Canvas URL, or the domain must be a subdomain of one of the App’s domains.”

      Do you have idea how to fix it?


      • Have you already claim the URL in Facebook page settings for Instant Article?

        • I fix the problem! 🙂

          • Ghanshyam Shenoy

            How did you fix the problem?

          • I have the same issue. Would love to know how you fixed this?

        • Ghanshyam Shenoy

          Yes.. URL is already claimed but still this error props up

      • WeedTab

        You don’t. The plug-in is junk. They need to fix it on their end.

  • This article is great, though I got a bit stuck in the process of authenticating my website for instant publishing. I have way more than 50 posts but the feed generated by facebook wordpress plugin (http://www.marcozanetti.it/blog/feed/instant-articles) shows less than 50 of them, therefore the enroll process doesn’t let me click on “submit for review”.

    I installed another plugin which provides a bigger feed (http://www.marcozanetti.it/blog/instant-articles) but pasting this feed link doesn’t make the button clickable anyways.

    Did anyone of you have any issue like this with feed generation and enrollment?

    Thank you

  • I can’t activate it! Some help?

    Warning: require(/home/XXX/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/vendor/autoload.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/XXX/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/facebook-instant-articles.php on line 32

    Fatal error: require(): Failed opening required ‘/home/XXX/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/vendor/autoload.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php’) in /home/XXX/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/facebook-instant-articles.php on line 32

    How can i fix it?

    PS: XXX – I censored my website to be safe from attacks!

    I will be happy to be helped.

    • There should be an update for the plugin now which works 😀

      • Works now, thanks!

        • cheers 🙂

        • Voicu, I got the same error for the Instant Articles plugin. How did you get it to work?

      • Anamol Rajbhandari

        Same problem with me!!! No update yet!!!

        • did you manage to resolve the issue? I’m still having it now.

    • how did you manage to resolve the issue? I’m still having it now.

    • Graeme Fulton

      I had the same issue and fixed it:

      1. make sure you have composer installed (https://github.com/composer/composer).
      2. go to your wordpress plugin directory, and into the `facebook-instant-articles-wp` plugin folder
      3. run `composer install`

      (See attached image)

      That will create the vendor folder, and the “facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/vendor/autoload.php” file that the error message complained was missing.

      Info about composer is in the installation instructions on the git repo: https://github.com/Automattic/facebook-instant-articles-wp

  • Has anyone successfully set this up for more than one Facebook page/website? When I try to set it up for the second site (completely separate from the first), the WordPress plugin only says I can publish to the original page, not the new page.

    • I don’t know why Facebook doesn’t just make Instant Articles a post type that you can edit from the browser. They had to overcomplicate things majorly.

      • WeedTab

        They’re assholes,is why. Their algorithm lets regular FB posts reach around 4-6% of your FB followers, so they want you to use Instant Articles but they do not support their own plug-in. It’s broken, it sucks, and they do not give one shit about it, or you. Fuck Zuckerfucker and Fakebook!

  • Anamol Rajbhandari

    I have claimetd my URL and I installed the plugin and I also put the RSS link generated through the plugin to Production RSS feed, but it still does not appear in the Production category in publishing tool. Does anyone know how long it will take? I tried refreshing the RSS feed url as well.

  • Warning: require(/home/elevation/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/vendor/autoload.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/elevation/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/facebook-instant-articles.php on line 32

    • this is the error that is preventing me from activating the plugin.

  • Nitesh Manav

    Hey Ash, Please clear one thing, Do I also need to add RSS feed URL even if I have already added, activated and configured the Facebook Instant WordPress Plugin as you mentioned above? Or it should be like either I should add RSS feed or set up WordPress Plugin, otherwise what would be the advantage of installing the plugin. One more thing…. Please write an article on setting up RSS feed according to the markup needs on Facebook Instant Article because this doesn’t look like working with default WordPress enabled RSS Feeds.

    Thank you.

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  • The plugin won’t activate. Anyone else having this problem?

  • I wasn’t able to activate the plugin due to a fatal error! What’s going on, I tried reinstalling it and that didn’t work! Not sure what I should do to fix this issue.

  • Andrew Schultz

    I only ever have one article appearing in my production Articles list in Facebook. Every time I publish a new article on my blog it overwrites the previous one.

  • Ugyen Dorji

    Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.
    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_FUNCTION in /home/www/bookletofhealth.com/wp-content/plugins/facebook-instant-articles-wp-master/facebook-instant-articles.php on line 18 what is the problem… please help some one….

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  • Ben Roberts

    yes, I’m a noob. your screenshots differ greatly from my own..on my laptop and my android phone. no add plugins options appear when I hover over plugins.