Google AMP Adds Source Links, Ups Search

Aiming to please publisher partners, Google will now let AMP users share source links. Taking on Facebook’s Instant Articles service, Google debuted AMP -- which stands for “accelerated mobile pages” -- in late 2015.

Previously, users of the mobile service could only share Google’s own links. This policy made sense, said the search giant, because it did exactly what AMP was designed to do: speed up content retrieval.

Soon, mobile users can expect to start seeing an “anchor button” in the AMP Viewer header on Google Search.

“This feature allows users to use their browser’s native share functionality by long-tapping on the link that is displayed,” Alex Fischer, a software engineer at Google Search, notes in a new blog post.

Distinguishing itself from Facebook’s offering, AMP is open-sourced and designed to work across multiple platforms. Google added AMP to its search results on mobile last year.

In early tests, Google found that AMP stories load an average of four times faster, and use 10 times less data than the equivalent “non-amp’ed” result.

Of course, Facebook is not standing idly by as Google pushes forward.

Last year, the social giant added video ads to Instant Articles, and immediately began letting partner publishers run animated ads and “click to play” videos. Not long after, Facebook merged Instant Articles and Messenger.

With Instant Articles, Facebook offers publishers 100% of the revenue from ads they run inside the service, while taking a reported 30% of revenue from ads that it sells through the Facebook Audience Network.

Google has not shared its revenue-sharing terms for AMP.

How much publishers are profiting from these arrangements remains an open question.

According to one report, the average premium publisher generated $7.7 million in revenue from distributing their content on platforms like Facebook and Google, during the first half of 2016.

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