Rappler goes instant on Facebook

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – It's a better news reading and watching experience.

In the past months, Rappler, in partnership with Facebook, has been alpha-testing a number of features that have only recently been made available to the site's users in Southeast Asia.

Facebook Instant Articles

On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Facebook, in partnership with Rappler, ABS-CBN, GMA, and the Inquirer, launches Instant Articles in the Philippines.

Almost two weeks after, Facebook announced the launch of Instant Articles for Android devices on Thursday, December 16.

True to its name, Instant Articles open at the tap of a finger. Say goodbye to pages that take forever to load and articles that take you out of the Facebook app. A bonus for free Facebook data plan users: you don't need to wait for Wi-Fi to get updates!

The near-zero loading time isn't the only thing to look forward to. Facebook Instant Articles has some amazing features, such as zooming in on photos and viewing them by tilting your phone left and right. Photo slideshows are easier to navigate and they now have video and audio features that users can have playing in the background as they read.

All Rappler articles will now be instant on Facebook and will be viewable by all iPhone and Android users.

So the next time you're scrolling down your news feed, look for the lightning bolt on the top-right side of the article and read the news hassle-free!

360 videos

360 Video: Obama in Manila Here's a 360-degree video of US President Barack Obama's arrival! More on Rappler: http://bit.ly/1j4rcuI Posted by Rappler on Monday, November 16, 2015

On Thursday, November 12, Facebook announced updates on its first collaborative project with Oculus: the new 360 video feature on Facebook which allows publishers to upload videos that record all 360 degrees of a scene, giving viewers an "immersive viewing experience."

Users go from being mere spectators of an event to getting the feel of an actual participant present at the scene. Many types of videos have since been uploaded: parades, street views, surfing videos, and even deep water diving videos!

Rappler used this technology to give its readers a taste of what it's like to welcome US President Barack Obama's Air Force One on the tarmac of the Villamor Air Base during the APEC summit, and even gave followers a glimpse of life inside the Rappler newsroom.

You can spot which videos use this feature by the round landscape image at the bottom left corner of a video. If you're on your smartphone, simply tilt the phone left, right, up, or down to take a look around as the event unfolds. When on desktop, click and drag your way around the video.

Look out for more truly in-depth video experiences as Rappler goes around the country and the world to give users a chance to experience big news as it happens.

Facebook Live Videos

Curtis Chin, former U.S. Amb to the ADB, on #APEC2015 Posted by Rappler on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

On Wednesday, August 5, Facebook launched live streaming video to give actors, musicians and other celebrities a new way to connect with their fans.

It was in November 2015 that Facebook extended access to Live videos to Rappler, and since then, we have explored a few of the many ways to use the feature to connect with followers on a more personal level: tours, interviews, sports updates, and sometimes Rappler staff just talking to followers as themselves.

When watching a live video, Rappler followers can interact real-time with the speaker in the moment by leaving comments such as questions or requests.

With these upgrades, Facebook users will see the landscape of one of the biggest social media platforms transform into a more personal yet open space for sharing and getting updates as it happens.

"We're excited about how technology continues to change the way journalism is created and consumed by our society," said Rappler's CEO & Executive Editor Maria Ressa. "Its participatory nature helps journalists in our mission to hold the public and private sectors accountable for their actions. At the same time, you hold us accountable in real-time to you!"

"We worked closely with our early media partners to begin rolling out Instant Articles locally. Internationally, publishers are already sharing thousands of Instant Articles on Facebook each day, and looking ahead, we're excited to partner with more publishers here to bring the Instant Articles experience to more people," said Ken Cheung, Head of Media Partnerships, APAC, Facebook. 

Are there any updates or changes you'd like to see on Facebook? Write about how social media can move forward on X– Rappler.com

Cellphone image from Shutterstock