Google today introduced its own take on Facebook Instant Articles known as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The AMP project is meant to get you to web pages faster than you’d normally access them, while keeping all of the videos, GIFs, images, and ads intact.
The way AMP works is that participating publishers — which include the likes of The New York Times, Vox Media, BuzzFeed, The Wall Street Journal, and more — can have lightweight versions of their stories that load in an instant. When you click on this link, which is currently the only way to preview AMP, you can search for content and then be presented with a carousel of AMP-ified pages. Clicking on one of the posts will load all of the content quickly. Platforms like Nuzzel, Pinterest, and Twitter plan to support AMP, too.
Over time, Google plans to work with others to improve AMP HTML pages that continue to integrate animations, videos, and other rich content the way that the publishers intend. The same goes for ads, and Google notes that publishers can use their ad networks while using AMP HTML, and Google will work with them to ensure that AMP HTML’s speed remains intact. Finally, Google says that with AMP, it’s creating a new high performance (and free) global cache that’ll let AMP content be served instantly regardless of where the content was created or where it’s being read.
Lately we’ve seen several efforts at speeding up web content and offering consumers a better reading experience. Apple has Apple News, Facebook has Instant Articles, and Google now has its open Accelerated Mobile Pages project. In my use, AMP works pretty well, highlighting compatible web pages in a carousel and loading those pages pretty darn quickly. What will be interesting is seeing if Google’s AMP can catch on more than Apple and Facebook’s offerings due to its open framework that’s built on existing web tech.
Again, if you’d like to try AMP right now, click this link from a mobile device and then search for something like BuzzFeed or The New York Times.