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Google AMPing Up The Mobile Turf War

Google AMPing Up The Mobile Turf War

Sun, Oct 14, 18, 14:50, 6 Yaers ago
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Google is attempting to reclaim lost territory in the mobile space. Facebook may not be worried, but publishers should be.

Every year, Google hosts an ‘unconference’ that brings together the movers and shakers from the worlds of news and technology. This year’s edition, held in May at Helsinki, was dominated by discussions of Facebook’s Instant Artices and other platforms like it. The initiative, described by one observer as a ‘land grab’ that would help Facebook ‘become the internet,' allows publishers to host content directly on the social media site. Facebook says it is only interested in giving users a better experience, and the streamlined, fast-loading Instant Articles certainly do that. But the program has also kicked off a turf war in the mobile space that could fundamentally alter the way publishers interact with consumers.

From WAP to AMP

When the first mobile phones were being introduced to the early Internet, they were restricted to WAP-sites that were less functional and significantly uglier than their desktop counterparts. About a decade later, Apple shrunk the personal computer into a handheld form factor and introduced the first mobile browser that was fully compatible with web standards. The experience still wasn’t all that great because very few sites were optimized for the small screen back then, but the mobile browser had finally arrived. In fact, its immense potential led Apple to briefly toy with the idea of restricting all third-party software to the browser. But the idea was quickly abandoned due to the widespread clamour for native processing power and the mobile app was born.

Mobile web annoyances

Fast forward to today and the browser has been relegated to the background and apps dominate. While apps matured and gained functionality that surpassed even desktop software, mobile websites regressed into slow, cumbersome and unusable hulks. If you’ve ever opened an article on a mobile browser and been jerked up and down the page by slow-loading elements, or had the screen dimmed by a newsletter sign-up prompt or seen focus being stolen by a gigantic banner ad with a microscopic close button, you're already well acquainted with the problem. In a desktop environment, these are trivial issues that can be resolved with a little bit of ad-blocking and script-killing. But on a mobile phone, ad-blockers are not quite as ubiquitous; driving users to the small islands of sanity provided by apps.

In addition to Instant Articles, Apple News, Flipboard anare all attempting to carve out their own niche in your mobile consumption cycle. But with 30% of American adults already getting their news from Facebook (the number rises to a staggering 88 per cent among millennials), the social media giant is sitting on the largest parcel of Internet real estate. It is also able to bring its significant data mining prowess to bear in serving users with relevant content, which is a big draw for publishers.

“I feel like we are sitting on the Titanic discussing the beauty, design, and ethics of the lifeboats,” observed another delegate. The Titanic being referred to is the open mobile web as accessible from your browser, which happens to be Google’s primary stomping ground, where the majority of its ad revenue is generated. Little wonder then that less than six months after that comment was made, Google has unveiled the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project: its attempt at preventing the profusion of curated social streams from supplanting the open web.


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morganalice725 - 3 Yaers ago, Wed, Jun 30, 2021, 10:03:52

this is a much-needed step taken by google. nowadays mobiles are getting so important and popular and have become a need for everyone. for doing CIPD assignment bahrain, watching movies, everything is done on mobile. Google is now AMPing up the mobile's war is a great initiative. 

GemmaW - 6 Yaers ago, Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 23:05:41

It's most important these day's to to take mobiles into consideration, so much of the Internet is performed via mobile devices and tablets, it just cannot be ignored!

Admin - 6 Yaers ago, Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 14:56:08

What is an "Unconference" by the way?

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