Google is adding a new AMP carousel and more AMP-enabled content to its mobile News site and apps. The horizontally scrolling carousel will feature 14 AMP-powered stories. In addition, stories throughout the vertical stream that use AMP will feature a lightning icon.
Here’s what it looks like for the iOS Google News app:
The launch is for US English content. Other languages and countries are coming, according to the company.
In my brief experience with it this morning, I found that the carousel scrolls very quickly and the individual stories display with virtually zero load time. Google has said that “AMP documents load an average of 4 times faster and use 10 times less data than the equivalent non-amp’ed result.”
Google says that 75,000 publishers are indexed in Google News. The company added that to date, “thousands” have adopted AMP. This move should encourage more publishers to get AMP’ed.
Beyond the greater speed, AMP-formatted stories don’t have pop-ups or interstitials, which makes for a better user experience overall. Google is quick to point out, however, that AMP gives publishers considerable flexibility on how to monetize their content. Native ads and video, for example, are not impacted.
In the following screen shots of a story from The Washington Post, the AMP version (on the left) is nearly identical to the conventionally formatted story, except the behaviorally targeted banner at the bottom is missing. Missing also are the various buttons for sharing. Overall, the AMP-formatted story is cleaner and easier to read.