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Google Search Testing AMP Stories Format: What Is This?

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Google is planning a revamp for its Accelerated Mobile Pages, as it's now testing a new AMP Story Format optimized for mobile.

The company's AMP project mainly focuses on accelerating mobile pages, as the name itself suggests. That means ensuring that content on various websites with a text loads faster, which comes in handy especially for mobile users.

Google Testing AMP Stories

The company now plans to take its AMP project to the next level, adding AMP Stories to better showcase content. Google announced the upcoming changes at its AMP Conf 2018, which takes place in Amsterdam.

"AMP stories immerse readers in tappable, full-screen content," explains Google. "Building on the possibilities of the AMP project, this format enables the creation of visual content that is fast, open, and user-first."

For those who are already using Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, the Stories format should be quite familiar. Google's AMP Stories doesn't sound all that different from what is already out there, as it's designed to enable publishers to create stories full of images, animations, and videos. These stories would be optimized for mobile, and users would be able to swipe through them quickly and easily.

Visually-rich stories often attract more viewers, but they typically take longer to load and they can be quite a hassle for mobile users with slower connections. With AMP Stories, visually-rich content should load faster and in a more attractive format, improving the experience for both users and publishers.

Google AMP Stories Partners

Google teamed up with a number of partners for this new story format including CNN, The Washington Post, Vox Media, Hearst, Mic, Conde Nast, Mashable, and Meredith. Since it's an open-source project, more publishers can join the party.

With this format, searching for CNN or other partner publication may return visually-rich content placed in a slideshow carousel that's easy to see and access. This should make it notably easier to consume content on mobile.

AMP web pages load dramatically faster than regular ones and have so far accounted for a large portion of traffic for the publications that employ the format. AMP Stories will employ many tools that have also helped make AMP articles what they are.

For now, publishers don't have any tools available to build their own AMP Stories, but Google is expected to offer more resources soon enough. It remains unclear for now just when and how Google will start serving AMP Stories in search results, or how interested publishers can make sure they are featured. The format is still in testing, so more details should become available once it's ready to go live.

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