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Instant Analysis: Alphabet Launches Accelerated Mobile Pages

By Evan Niu, CFA - Feb 24, 2016 at 12:15PM

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Alphabet rolls out AMP content in a bid to challenge Facebook Instant Articles.

What happened?
Originally unveiled late last year, Alphabet (GOOG -2.55%)(GOOGL -2.53%) has now started to deploy accelerated mobile pages, or AMP, in mobile search results.

AMP is an open-source HTML framework that allows publishers to improve loading times on mobile devices while also reducing data consumption. That includes rich content like videos, images, and animations. AMP HTML pages work across all types of mobile devices to dramatically boost performance with the hopes of not losing the reader.

Does it matter?
If this all sounds a whole lot like Facebook (META -3.06%) Instant Articles, that's because it is. Instant Articles also make the same proposition to publishers: Load mobile pages faster for better user engagement and retention, which in turn helps ad revenue. Instant Articles hit a small snag last weekend when an article was not updated to reflect a correction in a timely manner. Facebook said this responsibility falls on the publisher.

AMP does deliver a better experience and shorter loading times, and Google is also aggressively pitching it to publishers. Unlike with Instant Articles, publishers can host their own AMP content, and since it is an open framework they have more say over how the page looks. However, the challenge for Google is that it is not a mobile news destination in the same way that the Facebook News Feed is.

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