Mar 8, 2017

Google AMP goes where Facebook can't: China

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Tsering Topgyal / AP)

Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) will now be available to more than 1 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region, the company announced Tuesday. AMP will be featured on China's two largest search engines, Baidu and Sogua — which together account for around 90% of China's search engine market — and it's also coming to Yahoo Japan, which reaches 58 million daily Japanese users.

What's AMP? A Google-backed initiative for publishers to create template-based news articles that load up to 85% faster, according to Google, than traditional mobile pages. (If you want to see what it looks like, search for a website on Google and the carousel of recommended articles at the top are AMP articles.)

Why it matters: Facebook is still blocked in China, which has the second-largest ad market in the world, giving Google a leg-up on its Silicon Valley competitor. AMP is also quickly becoming one of the biggest mobile traffic-drivers for websites, and this will only help expedite their dominance. Digiday reported Wednesday that the Guardian is now receiving 60% of its Google mobile traffic on AMP.

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Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

2 hours ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.