Google AMP Boards the Stories Train
The developers at Google recently announced in a blog post that they would be launching visually rich, swipe-through AMP Stories, closely resembling the Stories format made famous by Snapchat and Instagram. With these Stories, publishers can create and share immersive and engaging content on the AMP platform tailor made for mobile users.
Although optimized for a mobile crowd, the Stories will also work fine on desktop. Through the implementation of images, videos, and graphics, publishers will be able to reel their audiences in with bite-sized stories that are easily and quickly consumable.
The AMP Stories developers have emphasized the technical ease of the platform in depth. In the blog post, they acknowledged that it can be difficult to master performance for the mobile web and affirmed that creating content for users that expect speed and brevity can be daunting.
Publishers without the technical know-how to create expert visual content from scratch can use AMP Stories’ flexible layout templates, standardized UI controls, and easy to use components for sharing and adding follow-on content.
According to the blog post,
“AMP stories are built on the technical infrastructure of AMP to provide a fast, beautiful experience on the mobile web. Just like any web page, a publisher hosts an AMP story HTML page on their site and can link to it from any other part of their site to drive discovery. Discovery platforms can employ techniques like pre-renderable pages, optimized video loading and caching to optimize delivery to the end user.”
By eliminating the need for tech expertise, the AMP developers have made it easier for publishers to focus on visual storytelling and creative engagement.
Publishers involved in the early stages of the Stories project included CNN, Hearst, Mashable, Mic, Vox Media, and the Washington Post. Illustrators, reporters, video editors, and other artistic professionals from these respective organizations joined forces to experiment with the platform and create content that is both easy on the eyes and functional. Some examples of their work that you can search for and view today are below.
Developer preview for AMP Stories started on February 13th and you can now see the stories on Google Search. As of now, the only way you can see the stories is by typing in the publisher names within g.co/ampstories using mobile. The AMP Stories team have stated that they are working on bringing the Stories to more products across Google and diversifying the way they appear on Google Search.
For publishers, there is no tool kit set in place yet. Publishers that have experimented with AMP Stories so far have had to build integrations with their existing CMS systems. Once tooling is available, creators will still have to develop the right tools for story building without adding overhead.
As the format develops and as Google wraps their head around yet another Story format, publishers may begin to embrace the format and use it as an efficient and creative outlet for branded storytelling. AMP Stories are currently free for anyone to use and you can check out the tutorial today to get started.
More on AMP
AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a open-source library that allows users to create web pages that you can link to and that are controlled by you. AMP is supported by numerous platforms, vendors, and partners and is compatible across Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera.