The publishing industry is constantly evolving and every day it takes a new twist in the quest to appeal to, and monetize, an increasingly mobile audience. Not to be outdone by Facebook’s Instant Articles, Google announced Accelerated Mobile Pages - AMP – designed to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile Web to deliver rich content instantaneously regardless of device.Initial publishers that are on board with AMP include U.S. News & World Report, New York Times, Buzzfeed and VOX. So what’s in it for these publishers?
• With its open-source approach, publishers can create a great user experience for their content including reducing the amount of time it takes to download webpages – from six seconds to half a second! Since the download time is reduced publishers are less likely to lose their readers and they can increase their opportunity to generate advertising and subscription revenues.
• AMP works on multiple platforms and devices allowing for instant global distribution of content – breaking the chains that have historically held content captive because of the reader’s device.
• Using AMP publishers can keep their ad networks and formats as long as they do not detract from the user performance – not making extra work for publishers. Still, Google may take a cut of advertising it helps to sell and serve into AMP pages.
• Better search results? There is a chance. Since websites that load fast are favored by Google, publishers are banking on Google favoring AMP formatted-content – putting content that does not use AMP at the bottom and out of view of consumers.
As a reminder, in September Facebook amped up its Instant Articles project to include hosting rich content. Immediately, The Washington Post (with a goal of posting all of their content), Business Insider and The Huffington Post signed up. In addition, Facebook expanded the number of users who could view their content from their mobile devices.
Ultimately, both Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles allow publishers to deliver an improved and faster rich media experience for consumers, but there are some differences when it comes to advertising and potential for improved search results.
Since it’s so new, we are only just learning basics about AMP, but we’ll be watching this ever-changing landscape to unearth – and report on – what it means for marketing and public relations professionals.