Are you ready for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

And the other similar initiatives from Facebook, Apple, and Twitter.

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, Facebook’s Instant Articles, Twitter’s 10,000-character-limit-tweets, and Apple News have generated a lot of interest among content publishers, marketers, and advertisers.

Being a purebred product/UI designer, I steer clear of discussions on marketing websites and marketing tech. Why am I writing about publishing tools to serve up news articles?

The fact that these technologies are targeting news publishers first is purely coincidental. What’s it’s really about is an obsession to speed up the web, especially mobile web.

It’s about portable/embeddable content.

If content could travel with its brand, revenue, analytics, and links attached, then it can go to the reader rather than making the reader come to it. — Jeff Jarvis

Despite a huge focus on mobile first, mobile web performance is a jarring experience with slow loading times, ads from the print era, messed up scrolling, the page dance while loading, and users constantly losing their reading position.

Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter are stepping in to solve the problem for their own good in their own ways. While Google’s solution is for the open web, the rest exist inside their respective walled gardens.

AMP is Google’s open source initiative to serve up lean and streamlined web pages to mobile browsers and other mobile apps. AMP pages load 4 times faster and will start appearing in Google Search and Twitter starting early February, and LinkedIn, Pinterest, and dozens more soon after.

The 3D Touch experience for a Peek on Google Search, Twitter, or LinkedIn is quite poor today because it loads a few micro seconds later than it should. With AMP the speed and hence adoption of this feature will increase.

This may also impact the technical/information architecture of your digital assets. Web views won’t feel like an operational tradeoff. Mobile websites will have better way finding with hub-and-spoke information organisation (reachable from one central page) and fewer pages.

Faster mobile web == keep users longer == better for everyone.

If you are a bank or other such large organization, chances are you are not going to be participating in this new technology yet. This will increase the gap between what people are getting used to and what you have for them.

Missing the AMP bus will make your content less attractive to users. AMP will impact your SEM and social media spend. Especially if you are in the aggregation business.

AMP comes with a small set of custom components for implementing commonly needed features. Examples…

  • Create a simple and fast image rotator with the amp-carousel component. Example, if you are selling multiple credit cards, or have multiple phone models to choose from, carousel is great for you.
  • Have your users directly view videos/YouTube via amp-video and amp-youtube components respectively.
  • Create super fast landing pages and see your conversion go through the roof.

Beyond Portable Content to Micro Services

This is the most exciting part. As the ecosystem evolves, developers will do creative explorations in all areas including interactive data visualisation, login/pay walls, and gathering input via forms. There will be banking services that come to the user rather than making the user go to a bank’s website or app.

Imagine clicking a link from Facebook, Twitter, or Google Search to instantly get covered for your travels!

Related Links

If you are a product person or designer, read more about AMP here: https://www.ampproject.org/

If you are a techie, go directly to: https://github.com/ampproject/amphtml

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