MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Google has joined the race to speed up mobile delivery of news content. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) promises to load pages four times as fast and use 10 times less data than regular pages. The company is following similar efforts from Facebook, the largest driver of traffic to news sites.

AMP results will start appearing in Google search results today, allowing publishers to host their content and enabling readers to have access to articles that can load immediately.

Major media companies such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Vox Media, The New York Times, The Guardian and BuzzFeed are taking part in the projects of Google and Facebook as they try to be where their readers are, increasing traffic and bringing in revenue from the new formats.

Image: Lighthouse Insights
Image: Lighthouse Insights

When users search for a given topic in the news on Google’s mobile site, AMP results appear below the “Top stories” section on the results page, as explained by The Verge. AMP results, which appear in a carousel, are easy to identify because they are designated with a green lightning bolt icon. All users have to do is to tap a story and see how it loads almost instantly.

In order to see related stories from other AMP publishers, users just have to swipe from right to left throughout the carousel and another article will load instantly.

The company said the feature will be coming soon to search results on Google’s Android and iOS apps, according to The Verge. For now, the functionality is only available on the site visited on a mobile browser.

Fierce competition

Google has been threatened by the fact that users are more likely to find a news story by swiping through their Facebook News Feeds than they are to open their mobile browser and tap a couple of words.

With AMP Google is now letting publishers host their own content, compared to Facebook’s Instant Articles, in which users have access to the stories without leaving the social network site. Moreover, Google is giving publishers more control over the look of their pages.

Facebook recently opened up its news format to all kinds of publishers, including individual writers and freelancers who are willing to share their content on the social network. Mark Zuckerberg’s company is letting them have access to similar revenue sharing options that are currently offered to major media organizations. On the other hand, it remains unclear whether Google will be accepting small and individual publishers on its new mobile format.

Source: The Verge