Facebook is offering its millions of users rapid access to news articles through an Instant Articles service.
Instant Articles is live now, and has a number of media partners. Facebook said that news articles now load up to 10 times faster than before, saving readers as much as eight seconds each time they click on a link.
Sources like the BBC and The Guardian have signed up, and advertisers are offered 100 percent of the advertising revenue.
The idea for Facebook is that it brings more users onto in-house applications, although not all of these have been popular, such as when the firm pushed users onto its Messenger app.
Introducing Facebook Instant Articles. You never have to leave Facebook to get content. pic.twitter.com/sIC9UwaYcP— Jeremiah Lee (@JeremiahLee) May 14, 2015
"As more people get their news on mobile devices, we want to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook. People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app," said Michael Reckhow, product manager at the social network.
"However, these stories take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles."
Reckhow explained that users can zoom in on, or "explore", images by tilting their mobile device. Other media elements, like auto-play videos, maps and audio, can be embedded in the articles, making the experience more interactive, according to Facebook.
Publishers, meanwhile, are offered more information on their readership, and more tools to monetise and analyse advertising.
"Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook," said Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox.
"Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models."
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