Google has been working with a small group of publishers for weeks on news articles that load almost instantaneously on smartphones, doing away with long loading times that eat up your battery and consume resources.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project went live today with mobile-optimized content from more than two-dozen participating publishers. These stories are searchable via mobile Google Search like regular searches.
Upon tapping on a link in Google search results, these article appears on your iPhone’s screen almost immediately, like magic. It’s a really cool glimpse of what mobile web should have been from the onset and we have a few examples you can check out yourself right now.
“Publishers around the world use the mobile web to reach these readers, but the experience can often leave a lot to be desired,” notes Google.
“Every time a webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader—and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions.”
“That’s because advertisers on these websites have a hard time getting consumers to pay attention to their ads when the pages load so slowly that people abandon them entirely.”
According to the Mountain View company, Accelerated Mobile Pages are not hosted on Google’s servers.
Instead, Google shows you a cached snapshot of mobile-optimized webpage from a publisher’s website, including the original ads that the publisher sold next to the story. The caching permits publishers to continue to host their content while allowing for efficient distribution through Google’s high performance global cache.
Google intends to open these cache servers to be used by anyone for free.
To check out instant-loading articles for yourself, point your mobile browser to these Google search URLs (US-only) and a scrolling carousel of instant-poading articles should appear at the top of your search results:
Or, explore and search within g.co/ampdemo in your mobile browser.
The feature is currently unavailable on desktop.
Trying to visit the aforementioned links and clicking on instant-article URLs in a desktop browser yields a message saying “to view the demo for Accelerated Mobile Pages in Search, open this link on your mobile device”.
The project should eventually roll out to other Google products such as Google News. Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Adobe Analytics and LinkedIn are among the first group of technology partners planning to integrate Accelerated Mobile Pages.
An open source initiative, the Accelerated Mobile Pages was built entirely out of existing web technologies and designed to let publishers create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere.
“For many, reading on the mobile web is a slow, clunky and frustrating experience – but it doesn’t have to be that way,” notes the search firm.
To learn more about the project, read the official FAQ. The initial technical specification was released today on GitHub.
In addition to Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages and Facebook’s Instant Article, Apple has a similar system of its own that encodes content in the proprietary Apple News format while serving articles through iOS 9’s brand new News application.
Publishers who let the iPhone maker sell iAds against their Apple News-optimized content share 30 percent of their ad revenue with Apple.