Cracking FaceBook Instant Articles With Jekyll - RSS Feed

Last updated on: May 10, 2016

Update: I stopped using instant article. In short, Facebook changed their structure about how instant articles work. You can find more details here.

Hello All, Recently I got access to Instant Articles from Facebook for my Jekyll based blog. The interesting part is that as far as I know, Instant Articles RSS Feed are not supported by Jekyll - yet! But no worries, I have done this and I am going to share how :)

Ladies and gentlemen, Instant Articles approval from Facebook :) That means you can get access to my contents even...

Posted by Amit Seal Ami on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

To do this, you need to submit 10 articles which uses Facebook specified Markup tags in your post. An easy way to achieve this is to format your RSS feed, and then ingest it.

Problem was, noone did this for Jekyll. At least not as far as I was concerned. And I was just starting with Jekyll as well with zero knowledge about Ruby! Therefore, I had to get my hands dirty. I had to ensure the following:

  • The images are surrounded by Figure tags
  • The rss items are configured to contain the necessary tags Facebook is looking for

For the first one, I used liquid Figure tags. You can get those in jekyll-figure gem. For the second one, I created a new file called instantfeed.xml and then I included the following:

Now, your of course need to

  • Modify the parts that were specifically written for my blog
  • insert to the facebook instant article RSS ingestion section
  • build your jekyll site and push it

The RSS should be enough for most of your articles, if not all. Just make sure that you follow the Facebook Instant Articles Design Policies, and you are good to go.

Also, head over to David Chua’s blog if you want another perspective of achieving the same thing.

Written on May 10, 2016