Publishers will not have to pay to have articles show web-based content
Google tests mobile instant publishing service to rival Facebook and Apple
Google said the new service is a ‘deal-less environment’. Photograph: Getty Images
Google announced on Wednesday it is piloting a programme called Accelerated Mobile Pages that allows users to search for news and pull up a host of articles from publishers instantly.
But unlike Facebook’s Instant Articles, or Apple’s Apple News, publishers do not pay Google to have their articles show up.
“This is a deal-less environment,” Richard Gingras, head of news at Google, said at a media event announcing the programme.
Google, whose parent company is now Alphabet, is currently piloting the programme. Executives declined to say when it would be available for public use.
Publishers have been struggling to get their web-based content to load as seamlessly as it does inside their own apps. And adblockers, which allow users to block certain content, have made it increasingly important for news publishers to make their sites more user friendly and to ensure they do not have ads that take long to load or cause the content of the articles to reformat as the page loads.
For example, 60 percent of The Washington Post’s audience comes through mobile devices, said Cory Haik, executive director of the publisher’s emerging news products, speaking on a panel about the Google programme.
The Post has spent the past 18 months improving its app for consumers, something that is “within our control,” Mr Haik said. But he noted, “the web is an entire different proposition...it is sort of the Wild West.”
While Accelerated Mobile Pages will not be immune to adblockers, Google and publishers say the new format will lend itself to a more consumer-friendly ad experience where ads load instantly.
The product will initially be available to news publishers but Google is open to offering it up to other types of content providers eventually, Gingras said.