Google Accelerated Mobile Pages entered the world on February 23rd, a day earlier than expected.
If you have been a little dozy for the past few months, here’s a quick skill pill to bring you up to date.
They look like this
They load hella fast
Fairly obviously, given the name of the project (Google Accelerated Mobile Pages).
This new open source approach to HTML is designed precisely to enable seemingly instant loading of mobile pages.
Probably best to get the official Google Developers introduction, so here it is.
They intend to trump Facebook Instant Articles
The subtext to Google AMP is that Facebook Instant Articles is undemocratic and unpractical because it means publishers must work for Facebook’s gain.
Of course, the subtext is less important than the main aim of AMP, which is completely laudable; to improve mobile browsing, which is now dominant and yet far from optimised.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that Google has positioned the project as the true saviour of content distribution, free from the walled garden of Facebook (joyously naked and chomping on apples).
Here’s some text from the AMP website, which does everyting but name Facebook Instant Articles.
Given how frustrating the mobile web can be, many content distribution platforms are seeking alternatives. In many cases, these alternatives tend to be platform specific, placing a burden on the publishers to support this fragmentation of formats and closing off the ecosystem.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an initiative to improve the mobile web and enhance the distribution ecosystem.
Some of the super-excited AMP partners also make the same point. Note the word ‘all’ in the following quote from Michael Ducker, Product Manager at Twitter.
We are thrilled to be working alongside Google and other industry leaders to create a better mobile web experience inside of all apps.
They are all about advertising
If mobile web pages are super quick, publishers might just be able to continue with their display advertising models.
Okay, the emperor may have been partially disrobed over 2015, with many finally preaching about non-existent clickthrough rates and poor UX (too many ads), but at least one of these problems can be alleviated by AMP.
Within AMP, all those scripts necessary to fire ads into your mobile phone are unlikely to slow things down and make you abandon your page load.
Google clearly sees this as a weapon in the fight to keep the web free for consumers (and profitable for the big G). So, maybe the ad blocker phenomenon isn’t such a big deal, after all?
Here’s the last word from Google:
If content is fast, flexible and beautiful, including compelling and effective ads, we can preserve the open web publishing model as well as the revenue streams so important to the sustainability of quality publishing.