Accelerated Mobile Pages

In October Google announced the launch of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project. A joint Google/Twitter project with additional partnerships with publishers, it is expected that AMP will provide an alternative publishing platform to Facebook Instant Articles.

AMP will be connected to the google search engine by end of February. The software is open source and has been available on Github since the beginning of the project. Using simplified and stripped down versions of HTML and css and only a given library of javascript, AMP will speed up load times, improving the user experience and aiding the smooth integration of advertising. Techcrunch’s Sarah Perez describes the appeal for publishers and the similarities between AMP and Facebook Instant Articles;

‘The idea, with both projects, is that publishers’ sites have become bogged down with extraneous code, tracking scripts, and advertisements that slow down the pages’ ability to load quickly on mobile devices. Not only does this mar the end user’s experience, it also consumes mobile data, which can still be costly. Plus, users who get frustrated while waiting for a page to load may choose to just exit the site, limiting the effectiveness of publishers’ tricks and tools to keep visitors on the site longer, where they could click on ads, or read or interact with other content’.

In addition to a speedier user experience, publishers are being attracted by the project’s capacity to better integrate advertising into mobile browsing and the fact that ad revenue will be accrued by the publisher, not the platform. As such AMP might become a pivotal part of the publishers fight back against adblockers.

Will Critchlow provides a comprehensive and technical explanation of how AMP works in his blog for Moz. See also the AMP’s blog and The Next Webs animation which shows the difference in speed between ‘normal’ load times and ‘accelerated’ pages.