A quick recap on what AMP is: Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project which “does what it says on the tin”, accelerates mobile page loading times of articles on news sites, recipes and other text-heavy content. With the success of AMP (although it’s a format that is not loved by all), Google is taking AMP beyond the basic articles with the launch of the AMP story format.
The idea is already with us on familiar platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, but this new AMP update, according to Google, is a great mobile-focused format to create visually rich and interesting stories. The new format will allow publishers to create image, video and animation stories for mobile that users can easily swipe through.
At the launch of the AMP stories format, Google partnered with CNN, Mashable and The Washington Post to name a few. But like all AMP, it’s an open source project and can be accessed by all. There is currently no tooling yet to build AMP stories and this is one of the reasons why Google started to surface AMP stories in the search results over time to give developers and publishers time to support this new format. The lack of tooling was a similar case when AMP was first released, but developers quickly wrote plugins for many of the popular content management systems (CMS) systems to support it. The same could be done for AMP stories.
However, once the tooling is available to create AMP stories, they will have to create it from scratch and not simply recycle an existing post. Getting the right tools available to build AMP stories could be one of the defining factors that will determine its success.
All Response Media viewpoint
With the success of stories on the likes of Instagram and Snapchat, it will be interesting to see how Google AMP stories will be able to compete. From past Google products that try to compete with other platforms, they haven’t fared so well at times (Google+ comes to mind).
Before publishers investigate AMP stories, wait until there are clear details from Google outlining how AMP stories will be surfacing these stories in search and how publishers can ensure they will be included there. As mentioned, the tools available to build AMP stories will be vital in its success as developers may not want to add to their overheads with a minimal return or that Google has launched another product which they may not support in the future.
On the other hand, if Google gets this right it could significantly help publishers get their content out there towards the top of (mobile) search, and increase their brand awareness and engagement.