In an interesting turn of events, another big company enters territory that is currently dominated by social media giants. During AMP Conf in Amsterdam, Google announced that it will be launching its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Story format. The company says that “this is a visual storytelling format, which will immerse readers in tappable, full-screen content”.
This format is created to be fast and open with a user-first approach. If it gains traction among users, it might become a popular and highly attractive tool for content creators, publishers and companies that focus on releasing well-prepared, visually rich content. It should also resonate well with audiences that grew to like similar formats on Instagram and Snapchat. But Google is not limiting itself to the new AMP stories. It also has a welcome surprise in store for our good old friend… the humble e-mail (more on this in the second part of our blog).
The fast and (visually) luxurious
The freshly announced AMP Story format should soon start appearing in Google search results. It is meant to be a way for publishers to present animation-, image- and video-heavy content (stories) for mobile devices that is easy to navigate and quick to load. On its launch, Google has partnered with such brands as Conde Nast, CNN, The Washington Post, Mashable and a few others to publish premiere content. The first examples of the new format in action show that it has real potential. Examples can be viewed at the bottom of a dedicated Google website.
Something fresh: engaging e-mail
At the same time, Google also announced “AMP for Gmail”. As the name suggests, this is a “format” (tool at the moment, actually) similar to the one described above. It allows the creation of highly interactive and visually attractive content – and even actionable objects – that can be viewed directly in an e-mail message. Users will not need to follow a link and visit an external site and as Google puts it, “this opens up completely new possibilities for companies to engage with their audiences”. The company continues on its blog:
For example, imagine you could complete tasks directly via email. With AMP for Email, you’ll be able to quickly take actions like submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire right from the email message. (…) AMP for Email will also make it possible for information to be easily kept up-to-date, so emails never get stale and the content is accurate when a user looks at it.
For now, AMP for Gmail is being tested by brands such as Booking.com and Pinterest, but it will be offered to others soon. It should also be fully supported in Gmail later in the year.
Try it out
For those interested in the new formats, Google released some handy information and links. A tutorial that introduces users to AMP stories can be found on the AMP Project webpage. It also features a link for those willing to sign up for a trial to publish this type of content. However, it should be noted that this is all very experimental, as noted by the company – who indicated this in capital letters. Meanwhile, developers can gain preview access to AMP for Gmail by signing up on Google’s blog.
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