This is the announcement from Google we’ve all been waiting for. “Accelerated mobile pages” are the tech giant’s answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News, and they’re partnering with Twitter to launch it.

There’s been no official word from either company yet, but “Accelerated mobile pages” has been created to solve the same problem as their rival’s projects: the frustrating load times of publisher’s websites on mobile devices. The goal will eventually be to develop a universal standard for publishers who push content to the web.

The intention is to launch it with a small group of publishers over the next month or two, but there are no clues given about who these publishers are or how others can get a slice of the action.

Although the term ‘game-changer’ has been thrown around a lot recently, if the rumours are to be believed, this venture is yet another critical reason for publishers to be article-ready this autumn.

Here are the key features*:

  • Twitter and Google users who click links will have the article pop-up straight away, rather than waiting for the website to load
  • Rather than hosting content on their platforms (like Facebook and Apple News), readers will be shown stories from cached pages from publisher’s websites
  • This means ads displayed in the original stories will still appear in this instant version
  • “Accelerated mobile pages” is the internal name – it’s unlikely Twitter & Google will present it as a branded product, but the name may change
  • The project will be open source, so other tech companies can adopt and develop it

So what does the Google/Twitter offering bring to the table compared to the others? We’ve put together a table for you to understand the differences below:

Instant Articles comparison table

There are still many details that are unclear, like how publishers will be able to mark their content for Google/Twitter’s project, but we’ll keep you up to date as this story develops.

For more information on Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Articles, take a look at our Tech Talk notes.


 

UPDATE:

Pinterest and WordPress are also rumoured to be collaborating on the project. The NY Times reported the following from some people involved in the project:

“According to the people involved in the project, publishers would have to slightly alter their articles’ web coding and make it available to be copied, or cached, so that it could be quickly loaded on web browsers, Twitter or other services, even those that don’t participate.

But articles would look and behave like anything else on the web — complete with banner ads, photos and links to other articles…”

Google is also looking at ways to manipulate the search engine “to increase traffic to high-quality publisher content”.

An announcement is expected from Twitter and Google in the next four to six weeks.


Sources:
Re/code: “Google and Twitter team up to offer their own ‘Instant Articles’ – with a twist”
Marketing Land: “Google & Twitter are working on Accelerated Mobile Pages for publishers”

We have a solution to Apple News that can also push out to Facebook and more – get in touch with us to find out more.

We’ll be leading another Tech Talk at the PPA HQ at 12:30pm on September 24th, bringing publishers back around the table to look at other developments. To attend this free event, book via the PPA website.

*Unverified, but probably true!

 

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