Google, Twitter Jointly Develop 'Instant Articles' For Publishers

The real-time Web almost seems like a fictional character in a mystery novel spearheaded by Google's and Twitter's attempt to pull it from the depths of the Internet to serve an instant article with the perfect ad. Reports surfacing Friday have the two working jointly on tools that will help publishers serve more reliable content faster to those using their services on mobile phones.

While the suspense regarding how Google and Twitter will move real-time into the hands of publishers has been building for years, the outcome will compete with Facebook's "Instant Articles" effort, which also wants to make it easier and faster to distribute content on mobile phones, rather than waiting several seconds, according to cited sources.

The two are developing the tools as an open-source project. Google and Twitter will aggregate the content in cached links rather than host it. This means the cached Web pages will display the original ads the publisher sold to run next to the original articles. In theory, it makes the ads "retain their value."

Revenue details have not been inked, per Re/code, but Facebook gives publishers 100% of the revenue from ads appearing inside what the report calls "instant articles," and takes 30% of revenue for the ads it sells against them.

Ad blocking, of course, could throw off the whole promise of serving the original ads, even though it could speed serving content. Data from Catchpoint Systems released Friday shows that when ad blocking was turned on, Web-page load times decreased significantly. News sites showed a 43% reduction in load time, while e-commerce sites showed a 23% reduction.

When ad blocking was turned on, total downloaded bytes for sites across verticals decreased substantially, showing that ad blocking indeed blocks content. 

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