Google has announced its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an initiative that will allow web pages to be content rich with smart ads without compromising loading speeds on mobile devices.

According to Google’s blog, several people consume a tremendous amount of news on their phones. That is why publishers use the mobile web to include their ads. However, every time that the webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader, and therefore revenue. This is the reason behind Google’s recent initiative.

The company has decided to create AMP to allow publishers to build light-weight versions of pages that load instantaneously on mobile. Up to now, 26 publishers, covering 42 publications, have signed up to integrate AMP, including the Washington Post and the Guardian.

Many believe this new update is part of Google’s intention to compete against Facebook’s Instant Articles since they have also solved the problem of slow loading speeds on mobile devices. Image: Facebook/Business Insider

The project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies. According to the company’s spokespersons, the same content distributed on Google search results, on Google Now, and on Google News will appear now on mobiles.

Google’s VP of engineering, David Besbris explained in a press release that the AMP “knows how to do all the great modern stuff that you need on webpages like slideshows and it does it very, very well. It does not mean the code is enforcing a template on the publishers.”

“The competition in this sphere is really heating up, you’ve got Apple News format, Instant Articles, Google AMP. All these formats are competing with each other to some extent but they are also differentiated and each one has a different take on it, which is great for publishers”, said Ninemsn editor-in-chief and publisher Hal Crawford, according to Mumbrella.

Other details, as of how advertising will work within AMP, are unclear, though it is known that pages will load before the ads. It is also known that the publishers will be free to use any tools they wish to sell advertising alongside the web’s content.

On the other side, this new feature will also help to prevent consumers from using ad-blocking tools. “I don’t think Google was attempting to address ad blocking here, but it’s in-line with what ad blockers are capitalizing on,” Grant Whitmore, executive vice president of digital at New York newspaper Daily News, said in a press release. “Ad blocking gives you a better interface that’s faster. Google’s taking a more publisher-friendly approach that achieves the same thing.”

Daily News’ Mr. Whitmore said his company and other publishers are already in talks with Google around what ad formats may or may not include. He also said that publishers retain complete control of their AMP pages.

Source: Google Blog