Google announces AMP, a much faster way to load news articles on smartphones

The new approach, an open source project which will also work on Twitter and Pinterest, will load slimmer versions of pages from news websites, improving load times

Google has unveiled a new way to publish mobile web pages that will see stories from news publications including the Telegraph load much quicker on phones and tablets.

The platform, called Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP), is an open source project that companies including Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest have already signed up to as partners. Facebook offers an alternative, Instant Articles, which is currently just on its own platform.

An average web page takes about 8 seconds to load. AMP, meanwhile, can get this down to as near-instant as possible, to get readers to spend more time engaging with stories.

Google is working with a range of quality media partners from around the world, including the Telegraph and the New York Times, on the initiative.

As a reader, all you need to do is browse as you would normally would – either in Safari or Chrome via Google, or in Twitter or Pinterest’s app. Google will display a carousel of stories at the top of search results, which load up AMP pages when they are clicked on.

This page appears largely as it would on the mobile web, but has been cached by Google and its code stripped down, meaning it loads almost instantly from search results. Google has also designed the technology so editorial content will always load before ads, and ads won’t automatically re-size themselves as you scroll. It should in theory provide a faster, cleaner reading experience.

The service is expected to go live early next year, but can be trialled atg.co/ampdemo on mobile browsers. Searching “Telegraph” for example, will load up a carousel of news stories, which can be clicked on and swiped through.

Google AMP

AMP could also be a genuine alternative to blanket ad blockers which threaten the primary business model of pretty much every news journalism website. Tools like AMP and Facebook Instant Articles should provide much the same service as an ad blocker – speedy access to content and slimmer data sizes of web pages.

“Speed has always been a cornerstone of Google Search and we’re thrilled to be working alongside others in the tech industry and publishers around the world to bring the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to life,” said Dave Besbris, vice president of engineering, Google Search”

“An open content ecosystem will give publishers maximum reach and allow users to get the best content no matter which app they are using. AMP HTML will make it all blazing fast, so we can’t wait to use it!”

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