Feb 13, 2018 - Technology

Google rolling out Snapchat-like Stories feature for AMP

Photo: Google

Google is rolling out a feature for all publishers to experiment publishing Snapchat-like "Stories," or strings of vertical video and photos, for its Google Accelerated Mobile Pages feature (AMP) in Google search. With a preview setting available to all outlets today, publishers can see how "AMP Stories" would look in Google search.

Why it matters: It's a way for publishers to expand their content strengths beyond text on Google. The new product will inevitably compete with Snapchat, which announced a few weeks ago that it will be making its Stories content available outside of its app on the web.

"When we launched Google AMP two years ago, it was a tech experience, not a creative one. Our mission was one about performance around a traditional format. Now, we're bringing visually rich content to AMP through AMP Stories."
— Rudy Galfi, product manager for AMP at Google

Starting next week, publishers will be able to preview what stories look like in AMP.

  • Publishers can create stories once and distribute them everywhere — even to their own sites and platforms to help users discover content. Google hopes to minimize technical challenges that have previously barred creators from focusing on good mobile storytelling.
  • Google says the project is part of its focus on encouraging innovation in journalism.
  • The initial testers: Mic, Hearst, Conde Nast, Wired, Time Inc., Vox, The Washington Post, CNN and Mashable.

Publishers won't be able to make ad revenue off of the format yet, but publisher-placed ads support is expected in the coming weeks.

  • Galfi told Axios, "We want to provide as much opportunity for monetization as possible. He added, "The format should eventually be able accommodate great ads."
  • He also says Google is actively working with ad networks to provide deeper ad support over time and eventually wants to sell ads programmatically — in an automated fashion — through AMP.
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