On Wednesday, Google announced a new open source project, which appears to be its answer to Facebook's Instant Articles. This one is open source though, so anyone can take advantage.
Will you implement this if given the opportunity? Let us know in the comments.
Like Facebook Instant Articles, the purpose of the new Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is to enable web pages to load more quickly on mobile devices. Google explains in a blog post:
Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way we access information, and today people consume a tremendous amount of news on their phones. Publishers around the world use the mobile web to reach these readers, but the experience can often leave a lot to be desired. Every time a webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader—and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions. That's because advertisers on these websites have a hard time getting consumers to pay attention to their ads when the pages load so slowly that people abandon them entirely.
Today, after discussions with publishers and technology companies around the world, we’re announcing a new open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages, which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.
The program utilizes a new open framework called AMP HTML, which is built on existing web technologies, and is aimed at letting websites build light-weight pages. Here's a demo Google developed on Google Search:
So far there are about 30 publishers on board. These include: Abril, BBC, BuzzFeed, Conde Nast, Daily Mail, The Economist, Fairfax Media, Financial Times, Gannett, The Guardian, Hearst, The Huffington Post, Mashable, McClatchy, The New York Times, Time, The Telegraph, Vox Media, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and others.
For publishers, this is worth noting, by the way:
Gingras: AMP pages won't rank better in Google because they're AMP. But Google already rewards speedy pages, so they can benefit from that.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) October 7, 2015
Google talked more about accelerated mobile pages in search on its Inside Search blog:
Whether you want to find out the latest [news] or the next [recipes] to try in the kitchen, Search brings you fresh, high-quality content from around the web. Accelerated Mobile Pages are specially formatted web pages that enable Search to display this content extremely fast, while ensuring that publishers control the way their content looks and feels.
This demo of Accelerated Mobile Pages in Search utilizes content from a limited set of participating publishers and is accessible through the below links. We hope that it provides a glimpse of how fast the mobile web can become, and how Search is committed to making results fresher and browsing faster.
You can search with g.co/ampdemo in your mobile browser.
Other tech companies on board include Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress.com, ChartBeat, Parse.ly, and Adobe Analytics, which will all integrate AMP HTML Pages. It will be interesting to see if Facebook joins that group.
Google says it intends to push the technology to more Google products including Google News in the future. It will also work with other partners to build more features and functionality for content, distribution, and advertising.
It's obviously early days on this, but it could indeed be a major part of the future of web content, so it's probably best not to ignore it.
You can check out the official site for the project at AMPProject.org.
Image via Google/AMPProject.org