Google announces “Accelerated Mobile Pages” to take on Facebook Instant Articles
It looks like there may be a race on to see who can build the best mobile system for making news reading faster. First, we had Facebook creating Instant Articles because the web browsing on iOS was far too slow (the feature was supposed to come to Android, but no movement has been made in 5 months.) Apple News was partially designed to take ad revenue from Google, but also to speed up news reading. Now, Google has announced "Accelerated Mobile Pages".
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an open format that uses HTML so it will work across all modern browsers and apps, according to Google. And, Google already has a pretty sizeable list of content partners on board, including: Atlantic Media, BBC, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast, Financial Times, The Guardian, Hearst, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Telegraph, Vox Media, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and more.
Even more interestingly, Google took aim at the competition and said at the announcement event that unlike the offerings from Facebook, Apple, and Snapchat, this doesn't directly generate revenue for Google. This means Google is not serving ads (which will certainly help in speeding up load times), and Google is not taking a cut. We're assuming the "directly" in the statement refers to the fact that Google will still be serving ads on search results where you find the links.
Google also said it would not "privilege a specific format", meaning articles using AMP wouldn't be boosted in search results because it uses AMP. That doesn't necessarily mean the links won't be boosted because the pages load faster, which is something Google does privilege. If all works out, pages coded with AMP could load as fast as half a second, down from three seconds. That's certainly fast.