This week Google announced it is evolving its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) with the launch of AMP Stories, providing another way for content creators and publishers to share content rich in visuals, video and animation and tapping into the growing Stories trend.
Details and Implications
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google standard that makes webpages load quickly on mobiles and tablets and has found itself to be a new major traffic contributor to those publishers who have implemented the AMP standard.
Google are using this AMP technology within their new story offering, delivering a mixture of what we have come to expect from the vertical ‘story’ format; images, text, and some video with a form of swipe or tap functionality to progress, go back or exit.
The format is still in preview, so there remain questions about when and how prominently we will see AMP stories appearing in search results, if Google will be producing any development tools to assist in the creation of these AMP stories, when to expect the introduction of ads within these stories and how that ad revenue will be split. For competing platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and the originator of the format Snapchat, having the largest advertising and informational platform inching in on your business could be worrying.
Snapchat, quite rightly, will be concerned about their current monopoly over the placement of Discover-style content and potentially falling out of favour as the go-to place to host Discover content, as publishers might look to host this content on their own domain and promote it through Google’s AMP stories.
There are however a few saving graces from Snapchat’s perspective. Firstly, their format has been widely adopted by their peers with Snapchat VP of content Nick Bell stating that “Our ambition at Snapchat is to empower great storytelling, and we think we have pioneered the best format for doing that on mobile. We’re delighted to see that an industry is starting to form around that, and hope that it will encourage more newsrooms to invest in teams that focus on made-for-mobile content.” Secondly, Google and Snapchat have very different audiences, so it is unlikely to see Googles AMP stories have a direct impact on Snapchats Discover ad revenue.
The addition of AMP stories is another indication that stories are a key format going forward and that businesses should consider their potential in their digital strategies.
From a search and SERP perspective, if these AMP stories grow in popularity we will be seeing companies frantically staffing-up to create AMP story content which could drive additional traffic to their sites.
Moreover, as with any new content format present in search engine results pages, we will probably see organic search results links drop even further down the page.