Commentary

Google Tries To One-Up Facebook's Instant Articles

Take that, Facebook!

Trying to one-up the social giant and its Instant Articles initiative, Google is officially unveiling “Accelerated Mobile Pages.”

Like Instant Articles, Google’s awkwardly named service promises publishers faster delivery of their content over mobile devices.

Unlike Facebook’s offering -- and Apple News -- AMP is designed to work across multiple platforms, is open-sourced, and available to any publisher who wants to participate.

Oh, and because Google is Google, it’s also promising partner publishers more prominent display in its search results. Publishers should be able to simply get on board by adding a piece of code from Google’s Github repository.

Big-name partners planning to integrate AMP HTML pages include Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, LinkedIn, and Adobe Analytics.

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Publishing partners include BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Vox Media.

Of course, Google didn’t forget to factor advertising into AMP, as the system is designed to support a range of ad formats, networks and technologies.

Google is promising that publishers using AMP HTML will have their choice of ad networks and formats, but you have to expect the search giant to push its own products.

True, Google hasn’t always had the best relationship with publishers, many of whom still accuse the company of leeching off the hard work of those who actually create quality original content. 

But Google’s more-open alternative to Instant Articles and Apple News should appeal to publishers. That Google is promising not to take a cut of ad revenue -- unless it’s already getting paid to serve an ad -- must also be attractive to potential partners.

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