If you’re in the news publishing industry you’ve probably already heard of both Facebook’s Instant Articles, which is currently being trialled by a handful of big publishers worldwide, and Google’s own version, named Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP.
Both schemes aim to tackle the problem of sluggish loading of news and content pages on mobile. This has become a significant problem over the last few years for two main reasons:
- Web pages have become more unwieldy in terms of scripts and trackers and ad loads demanding more from the hardware and software, pushing up load times to seconds. And those seconds matter as mobile users are more sensitive to unresponsive pages and even short pauses.
- Mobile users are set to dominate news consumption over desktop. Google announced recently that mobile search has finally overtaken desktop. Which means over 50 billion searches take place each month on screens that are 6 inches or smaller.
Facebook and Google are now firmly locked in competition for driving news traffic. It was also reported recently that Facebook now drives more traffic to news sites than Google. Instant articles and Google AMP are both aimed at capturing more of that market. The happy side effect being that reader experience improves.
Google mention that there are about 30 publishers currently trialling Google AMP, and it’s well worth your time to read the official post by Google about it here: