Google experimenting with “AMP Stories”

Every mobile app that has a social graph is doing something that behaves or looks like Snapchat’s stories. Facebook added stories to the main app and to its sister products Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. Now Google is getting in on the craze with its new AMP Stories product.

AMP Stories is still in preview and Google calls the project “strictly experimental”. Google is testing the category with two publishers: Hearst and The Washington Post. Both publishers are excited about the new format and believe that it will create more engagement. Unlike many other features, Google is taking a highly consultative approach and is working with publishers.

Working with the publishers will ensure better adoption from launch, something which the original AMP standard lacked. Google has worked tirelessly to address publisher concerns about AMP, covering everything from domain branding and advertising.

Google has made advertising a key part of the planning with AMP stories. Brian Madden, SVP development of Hearst Digital Media said that the search giant “thought about monetization right from the start”

The Washington Post’s Merrell added, “We see a few different paths [to monetization]: interstitial display ads, video pre-roll and sponsored content. We’ll try and see what works best in a non-intrusive way.”

The product itself looks very compelling, with strong images, type, and structure. With enough publisher adoption, the project could go mainstream in the near future. It is important for Google that it keeps publishers happy and keeps users coming to the search home page.


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