In a bid to compete with Snapchat and Instagram’s alternatives, Google has launched a “new visual storytelling format” called AMP Stories.
Google is the latest tech company to jump on the ‘Stories’ bandwagon, as it’s “AMP-ing up” its Accelerated Mobile Pages feature with its own version of Stories. The new format, AMP Stories allows publishers to combine text, images, videos, and graphics in single posts that can be indexed and surfaced in search. As a format, AMP Stories was built for mobile – as content is fast-loading, just like other AMP-ecosystem formats – but Google has also added support for desktop, allowing users to view and share content on different devices.
Searching for any of early-adopting big publishers, like CNN, Condé Nast, Hearst, Mashable, Meredith, Mic, Vox Media and The Washington Post, will lead to two tabs: “Top Stories From,” and “Visual Stories From.” AMP Stories appear in the latter.
In a recent blog post, Google AMP’s Product manager, Rudy Galfi, explained that AMP Stories will not have advertising from the outset, Google wants to allow publishers to be able to advertise within their content. More importantly, publishers will be able to keep 100% of the ad revenue from the feature. Recognising that advertising is a big part of any publisher’s monetisation strategy, Galfi explained that “Advertising is very important. Really great reporting and journalism needs to be funded somehow.”
At the moment, Google is concentrating on getting publishers involved, and will look into a “consumer-oriented approach” as it receives further feedback. Only then can the company “figure out how this will start to appear.” It’s not an easy game though, as it’s a challenge for publishers, “particularly small ones, to experiment or publish these types of stories.” The format takes some time to adjust to, and “necessitates close involvement of creative minds, journalists and other people at news organizations.”
Google describes AMP Stories as “immersive, fast, and open,” and main features include:
1. Support for rich visuals with native video and image performance
2. Storytelling through animations and tappable interactions
3. Support across mobile and desktop devices on the open web
4. Brings features on top of AMP’s component library to support features like analytics