Google's answer to Facebook 'Instant Articles' is launching early next year


Sundar Pichai

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar PIchai

Google's project to boost the speeds that news articles load on smartphones will kick off "early next year" with several large media organizations already committed to support the effort, Google said in a blog post.


The so-called Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative, or AMP, is a new tech standard spearheaded by Google that seeks to speed up web page load times on the mobile web.

The project is Google's answer to Facebook's Instant Articles, which some publishers such as the New York Times and The Atlantic began using earlier this year and which speeds up page load times by letting publishers upload their content directly to Facebook. Business Insider also plans to publish content using Facebook's Instant Articles.

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Battle for control and eyeballs

The dueling mobile publishing standards are the latest skirmish in the battle between Google and Facebook to serve as consumers' main gateway to online content, and to reap the lucrative advertising revenue that comes with it.

Google does not want media organizations to publish their content directly on Facebook's platform, which is generally not accessible to Google's search engine. AMP is Google's effort to keep publishers and content on the open web.


"Google will begin sending traffic to your AMP pages in Google Search early next year, and we plan to share more concrete specifics on timing very soon," Google Search Engineering VP David Besbris and Head of News Richard Gingras wrote in a blog post on Medium on Tuesday.

Google says AMP HTML will "dramatically improve" the performance of the mobile web by allowing website owners to build lighter-weight web pages that have a reduced reliance on often clunky technology such as JavaScript. By using AMP, publishers can employ caching techniques to essentially pre-fetch and store a web page so it's loaded on to a user's device before they even click on it

According to Google, "thousands of publishers" have expressed an interest in AMP since it was previewed in early October and companies including AOL, CBS Interactive, and Slate have "committed their support" to the project. And Google said that several ad partners such as OpenX and DoubleClick (which is owned by Google) were also working withing the AMP "framework" to improve the advertising experience.

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