The competition heats up as technology companies change how content is published on apps and mobile devices.
Mobile devices are now more popular than PCs. People in the United States are expected to spend 81 percent of their time on mobile devices—checking their favorite social networks, watching videos, and reading content via mobile apps, according to the research firm eMarketer.
So, it isn’t surprising to see tech companies like Facebook and Apple launching their own initiatives to bring content from publishers to platforms specifically built to load pages faster and smoother on mobile devices. Facebook this year introduced a way for publishers to host content on the social network. Apple, too, announced a news app that will curate content from publishers.
Google, for its part, has yet to counter the new programs, which have dissipated much of the traffic from searches, stealing ad revenues in the process. But Google is looking to change the game. The technology giant is working with tech companies like Twitter and Pinterest to show “instant articles” on mobile phones.
The feature is similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles, which allows users to view content from publishers without leaving the app. In Google’s case, users can click on links on mobile devices and full articles will pop up on the screen, ready to be read. The loading time is a fraction of five to ten seconds, sources said.
Google takes it further by making it an open source project. The goal is to create a universal standard for publishers looking to elevate their game in the mobile-optimized environment. Another goal is to boost Google’s relationship with publishers. The New York Times and The Guardian have already joined the initiative.
“We’re working with Google and we’re involved as both a publishing and a technology provider,” said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the New York Times. Apart from Twitter and Pinterest, Google is also planning to launch the feature on blogs using the popular WordPress platform, reports the New York Times.
Another selling point of the project is that Google will not directly host the content of the participating publishers. Instead, Google will use its trove of cached webpages to push the content on mobile devices. One source described the feature as an HTML page on steroids, thanks to its fast caching capabilities. Facebook, meanwhile, hosts content natively on its platform.
One important benefit of using cached pages is that publishers can still use their own ads, including banners, photos, and links to other articles. But it won’t be an automated process. One source says that publishers need to make small changes in their articles and coding to make them compatible with the platform.
The project is in its early stages, sources said, but could be announced in the next four to six weeks. Google and Twitter didn’t comment on the report. Pinterest and WordPress also declined to comment on the report. Another source said that the project is spearheaded by Google. What are your thoughts on this report? Do you think that it’s a great idea? If so, will you use it?
so let's count platforms that want pubs to create content in a way that's particular to performing well on their site: FB Snapchat Twtr Goog— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) September 11, 2015
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