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Forget websites, Facebook wants you to read the news in its app

The world's largest social network is bringing its Instant Articles feature to more people, making it easier to read news stories within its app instead of surfing the Web to find out what's what.

Facebook's Instant Articles feature is coming to more people. Facebook

Facebook wants to be your mobile newsstand.

The social network is rolling out the Instant Articles feature in its mobile app to more users, allowing them to scan headlines, dive into articles and watch news videos on their phones, the company said Tuesday.

Introduced in a limited fashion five months ago, the feature is designed especially for Facebook's mobile readers and, the Menlo Park, California-based company says, loads stories 10 times faster than a standard website does. It also uses Facebook's advertising software, promising faster loading and better-looking layouts.

"The most important thing we pay attention to is providing daily value," Chris Cox, who manages the Instant Articles team, said at The Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive conference in Southern California. "Daily use is something we care about."

Instant Articles is another example of Facebook's increasing reach in our lives. The service has already displaced photo albums, family blogs and instant messenger services. Now it's ready to replace the paperboy by delivering the equivalent of a custom newspaper to you wherever you are.

Facebook said it plans to publish 1,000 articles per day through partnerships with magazines, websites and daily newspapers.

The partners include National Geographic, Time and USA Today. CNET is also participating.

The Instant Articles feature now works with all Apple iPhone models, Facebook said. The company is also running a public test of the feature on phones that use Google's Android operating system.

Instant Articles stories are published in the News Feed on Facebook's app for smartphones. When users tap on them, the stories fill the screen almost instantaneously. The feature doesn't require users to surf to outside news sites, such as The New York Times. Facebook says this makes the service more compelling.

Facebook says Instant Articles is part of a years-long effort to revamp its services to more easily work with mobile devices and do so in more situations. With 1.31 billion people using its app at least once per month, Facebook has to ensure that it works around the world, over poor wireless connections and on lower-end phones. To do this, Facebook said, it's reworked its apps to draw less data and work quicker.

The more people use Facebook's app, the more ads the company can show, which ultimately means more money for the company. Facebook is the second-largest Internet destination for advertising dollars, pulling in more than 18 percent of the ad dollars spent online last year, according to industry research firm eMarketer. By 2017, that number is expected to climb to more than 20 percent.

Google is still the industry's largest player, representing nearly 37 percent of advertising revenue last year.

Cox didn't say how many Instant Articles are being read or shared by users, and a Facebook spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for additional comment.