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Google beefs up open-source AMP platform with new stories feature

AMP, the Google-made web development platform, now has a stories feature that will help content distributors give mobile-optimized content to readers.

Published onFebruary 13, 2018

  • Google announced AMP stories today, a way to share mobile-optimized content.
  • AMP is an open-source web development platform created by Google to make a faster, more streamlined web.
  • You can test out AMP stories on your smartphone right now by following instructions in the article.

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project just keeps getting bigger. Since Google announced the open-source web development technology in 2015, major sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, eBay, and AliExpress are using the platform for content delivery.

On the Google Developers blog, a new feature was revealed: the AMP story format. This mobile-focused format will be great for news sites and blogs looking to deliver image-heavy content.

Working similarly to Instagram stories, web content is presented on a mobile phone as a full-screen portrait display. By tapping areas of the screen, a user can “scroll” through the content, with animations, text, and even video playing as they go along.

If a user clicks on an AMP story using a computer or other, non-smartphone device, the story is displayed in the same format, just with a hazy background covering the areas of the screen not taken up by the story itself.

Google touts that AMP stories will load faster than traditional web content, and starting today will appear in Google search results.

Google just 'AMPed' up mobile search results
The Google logo on the search page.

You can see a selection of stories available right now by visiting on your mobile browser. Once you arrive, you’ll see the usual Google page. Type in “CNN” and you’re taken to a search results page with CNN stories at the top for you to scroll through.

This only works on mobile browsers for now; visiting on your desktop won’t net you any stories results, even if you search for CNN.

Google’s AMP project is a response to Facebook’s similar, proprietary Instant Articles platform. Even though Google touts AMP as being open-source, and thus not officially a Google product, it’s had a hard time convincing people that it doesn’t have ulterior financial motives for pushing adoption of AMP.

Regardless, the ubiquity of mobile phones means that the web is going to shift towards redesigning even the basic structure of web pages to accommodate the different screen sizes and processing power available within different smartphone brands. Whether or not AMP will be the de facto platform for that remains to be seen.