Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 7:26 AM

Facebook uses RSS for Instant Articles

Late yesterday Facebook released docs explaining how Instant Articles works for publishers. It's good news. They have, as I speculated earlier, built their system around RSS. This means there can be interop between all the big companies --Twitter, Google, Apple, Facebook -- now building new news systems.

This comes with a caveat. I haven't yet been able to test Facebook's RSS support. Once I have, I will be able to say that Facebook is a fantastic company for having the guts to use an open format for their new publishing system.

To publishers and bloggers -- this is a big deal because it means that the same feeds you generate to post stories to Facebook can be used for other sites. It's a very strong statement. No publishing silos. Let news flow where it wants to. And let competitors arise who may do more interesting and useful things with news than the big companies can.

By betting on RSS, Facebook says bring on the innovation. Startups, news corps, open source developers, kids in Dallas high schools, anyone can experiment. It's too early to lock down innovation in the flow of news.

New editing tools that publish to all the systems can come about. Finally! Let's get some new life in blogging software.

The same feeds you that provide data to Feedly, and to my rivers, can be used for Facebook.

I wrote about this in my piece about balkanization last week. It's possible, even likely, that we'll avoid the mess that seemed likely only a week ago.

Stay tuned for more news.

PS: Cross-posted on Facebook.

Last built: Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 10:11 AM

By Dave Winer, Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 7:26 AM. Yeah well, that's just, you know, like, your opinion, man.