According to data from Pew Research Center, half of the adults on Facebook use the site to follow news stories in real time.

The articles load quickly and offer features such as the ability to move photos left to right to see the full image -- plus maps that can be zoomed out to see the geographic locale where the photos were taken.

A number of big brands, including major publishers such as Slate, The Atlantic and the Washington Post, have already started using Instant Articles to reach consumers.

Julia Beizer, director of mobile products for the Post, told NiemanLabs that Instant Articles has significantly increased engagement on the site:

“We have done a lot of work to optimize our own properties for speed, because we know how much it affects our ability to keep readers from bailing before your content loads.

That’s so important on mobile, and when we started talking to Facebook, we felt like there was clear alignment in what we were trying to do.

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