Accelerated Mobile Pages
The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) is an open-source initiative to improve the performance of web contents and ads through a publishing technology known as AMP. The AMP Project led by Google is a competitor to Facebook's Instant Articles, and includes several other large search, social and web publishing platforms around the world.
Prior to LaunchEdit
The AMP Project was announced by Google on October 7, 2015 following discussions with its partners in the European Digital News Initiative (DNI), and other news publishers and technology companies around the world, about improving the performance of the mobile web. More than 30 news publishers and several technology companies including Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and WordPress were announced as initial collaborators in the AMP Project.
AMP Pages were first exposed to web users in February 2016, when Google began to show the AMP versions of webpages in mobile search results.
Initially links to AMP Pages were restricted to a “Top Stories” section of Google’s mobile search results; by September 2016 Google started linking to AMP content in the main mobile search results area. AMP links in Google search are identified with an icon.
Growth and ExpansionEdit
In February 2017, a year after AMP’s public launch, Adobe reported that AMP Pages accounted for seven percent of all web traffic for top publishers in the United States.
In May 2017, Google reported that 900,000 web domains were publishing AMP Pages with more than two billion AMP Pages published globally.
In June 2017 Twitter started linking to AMP Pages from its iOS and Android apps.
Open Web FormatEdit
AMP Pages are published on the open web and can be displayed in most modern browsers. When a standard webpage has an AMP counterpart, a link to the AMP Page is usually placed in an HTML tag in the source code of the standard page. Because most AMP Pages are easily discoverable by web crawlers, third parties such as search engines and other referring websites can choose to link to the AMP version of a webpage instead of the standard version.
Most AMP Pages are delivered by Google’s AMP Cache, but other companies can support AMP Caches. Internet performance and security company Cloudflare launched an AMP Cache in March 2017.
Third Party IntegrationsEdit
Any organization or individual can build products or features that will work on AMP Pages, provided they comply with AMP's specifications. As of July 2017, the AMP Project’s website listed around 120 advertising companies and around 30 analytics companies as AMP Project participants.
Google reports that AMP Pages served in Google Search typically load in less than one second and use 10 times less data than the equivalent non-AMP pages.
CNBC reported a 387% decrease in mobile page load time for AMP Pages over non-AMP pages.
Gizmodo reported that AMP Pages loaded three times faster than non-AMP pages.
Content Publishing PlatformsEdit
Comparison to Facebook Instant Articles, Apple NewsEdit
AMP is often compared to Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News. All three formats were announced in 2015 with the stated goal of making mobile content faster and easier to consume.  AMP Project supporters point out that AMP is a collaborative effort among publishers and technology companies, and that AMP is designed to work on the open web instead of proprietary mobile apps.
Google’s Richard Gingras said:
“There's a very big difference between having a proprietary platform that says it's open, and having an open-source platform that is open to anyone to modify and adapt. It's the difference between saying come into my walled garden vs. not having a walled garden.”
Some publishers and industry observers have expressed concerns about Google’s role and motives regarding the AMP Project.
Matthew Ingram wrote:
“In a nutshell, these publishers are afraid that while the AMP project is nominally open-source, Google is using it to shape how the mobile web works, and in particular, to ensure a steady stream of advertising revenue… More than anything else, the concerns that some publishers have about AMP seems to be part of a broader fear about the loss of control over distribution in a platform-centric world, and the risks that this poses to traditional monetization methods such as display advertising.”
Google rebuts these charges, stating that AMP must be a collaborative industry initiative in order for it to succeed in the long term. Google’s Madhav Chinnappa said:
“I get a little bit irritated when sometimes people call it Google’s AMP, because it’s not … AMP was created as an open source initiative and that for me is the reason for its success.”
Some publishers reported that AMP pages generate less advertising revenue per page than non-AMP pages.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jack Marshall said:
"AMP pages rely heavily on standardized banner ad units, and don’t allow publishers to sell highly-customized ad units, sponsorships or pop-up ads as they might on their own properties"
Other publishers have reported better success with AMP monetization. The Washington Post has been able to generate approximately the same amount of revenue from AMP pages as from standard mobile pages, according to director of product Joey Marburger. CNN chief product officer Alex Wellen said AMP Pages “largely monetize at the same rate” as standard mobile pages.
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