Google Search Takes On 'Stories' In AMP Format

AMP Stories, introduced by Google on Tuesday in a developer preview mode, demonstrates the need to bring a creative twist to search -- specifically on mobile.

The "AMP" part comes from the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, a standard for websites that is intended to assist page loading on mobile screens and to make it much faster. The "Stories" comes from similar products like Snapchat and Instagram.

The AMP Stories product, a visually driven format built on AMP HTML, will begin serving in Google search results Tuesday, linked to publishers such as People and CNN. The stories appear in a slideshow of top-ten lists, moving images that tell a story by tapping on them, rather than scrolling. They also are searchable.

Google and a group of publishers came together to work on building the story-focused format in AMP. The idea is for this format to offer new, creative and visually rich ways of storytelling that are specifically designed for mobile, wrote Rudy Galfi, product manager for AMP at Google, in a blog post.

The real hope is that the new format will drive additional traffic to publisher sites. But S. Mitra Kalita, vice president for programming at CNN Digital, is taking a "wait and see" approach.

Publishers involved in the early development of the AMP Stores format include CNN, Conde Nast, Hearst, Mashable, Meredith, Mic, Vox Media, and The Washington Post.

If someone is searching for a publisher participating in the project on a desktop, Google directs the searcher to a mobile device and URL to view AMP Stories in search.

Google has also launched a tutorial that outlines through the process of creating AMP Stories, along with the code to create visual effects with multiple layers in a page. The process explains how to use audio and verifies that the story implements Google's best practices. 

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