Google on Wednesday unveiled a mobile publishing platform aimed at making news articles on smartphones load faster, catching up with similar services recently introduced by Facebook and Apple.
Google’s service, called the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, or AMP, is aimed at loading mobile Web pages almost instantly instead of requiring consumers to wait several seconds to open an article.
For tech companies like Internet search giant Google, improving the experience of reading news on smartphones increases the likelihood that consumers will continue using their services. The companies are also seeking solutions to make sure ads don’t slow down the access to articles, as many consumers have downloaded ad blockers to make them load faster — potentially threatening publishers’ advertising revenues.
Almost 30 publishers from around the world, including The New York Times, Guardian, BBC, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed and Vox Media, will publish articles on AMP, which is in a test format and will be available to the public at a later date. Many of those media outlets have also agreed to publish stories directly to Facebook’s and Apple’s news readers.
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“The Web today, particularly in a mobile environment, is not fully satisfying users’ expectations,” Richard Gingras, Google’s head of news, said at a media event Wednesday in New York. “It’s not as fast as it should be. Pages load slowly, sometimes erratically.”
For publishers, partnering with tech companies is an attempt to stay relevant as readers increasingly discover and share stories on their smartphones and social media, rather than through the media companies’ own websites.
Social media sites Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn will also post content to Google’s new mobile platform.
Michael Ducker, a product manager at Twitter, said Google’s new platform will speed up the loading time for embedded tweets and vines — short videos shared by users — inside Twitter’s mobile app. Twitter users read more content when their Web experiences are made faster, he said.