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Google search to launch in ‘Stories’ format
February 24, 2018, 12:54 pm

Google is launching a developer preview of something it has labeled ‘AMP Stories’, which many might tend to label as yet another tech jargon to digest. However, understanding what is happening here will get you ready for what could be a major change to how your Google search results are going to look later this year.

Let us start with the second part first: ‘Stories’ is pretty much what you have come to see on social media sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. It is full-screen display of content you can swipe or tap through. Snapchat started it, Instagram ruthlessly copied it, and then Facebook even more ruthlessly tried to make Stories a thing in every product it makes.

Now Google is doing the same thing. It has begun testing a ‘Stories’ format that will appear in Google search — but only if you go looking for it. Search for a media publication like People or CNN, and you might get served a carousel of slideshow content created by that partner. It could be a slideshow of a top-ten list, little moving images, or some other “visually rich way of storytelling. It is specifically designed for the mobile space says Google.

The first part of the name is a little more complicated. ‘AMP’ or Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source initiative that makes it easy for publishers to create mobile-friendly content that loads radically faster than existing mobile pages and almost entirely supported by Google. It was in some way a response to Facebook’s Instant Articles, but served from Google Search, Bing, and Twitter.

AMP has not been without its share of controversy, but it has become a major source of traffic for the publications that use it. So, the ‘AMP’ in ‘AMP Stories’ refers to the fact that Google’s version of the stories are built on that web page standard. AMP Stories are coded and served with many of the same tools used to make AMP articles — so they load fast and may even be pre-cached on your phone before you click on them.

In this early preview, at least, AMP Stories will be much more like the stories you will have seen on Snapchat’s Discover and will include a mix of text, moving images, and a little video. You tap on the right to advance, tap on the left to go back.



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