Accelerated Mobile Pages, how does it compare?

Back to Blogs

Accelerated Mobile Pages, how does it compare?

By Samantha Brooks on 14 July, 2016

It only seems like five minutes ago that having a fully responsive website made you stand out in the crowd. Then it became a necessity or your Google rankings would suffer. Now, things have changed again with the advent of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages. Early-adopting companies are enjoying highly ranked Google search results and lower bounce rates from their site visitors. Time is money, and quite simply, nobody wants to wait even 10 seconds for a responsive page to load (I know, internet users are a tough crowd) and interacting with web content on a mobile can be slow, fiddly, and incredibly frustrating. Now more than ever, grabbing the visitor’s attention in the first few seconds with a faster loading page on your mobile device is where savvy businesses need to be.

Still, there are other offerings on the market. In addition to Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page format, Apple offers Apple News and Facebook has Facebook Instant Articles. Let’s explore them in more detail, and please let me know in the comments if you are using any of these platforms, how you feel about it, and the kind of results you are noticing in your site visit traffic.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Currently available exclusively in mobile browsers (for now), Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page format is naturally being used by Google search, but is also utilised by Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Medium, and Nuzzel. This gives Accelerated Mobile Pages the edge when it comes to audience reach through multiple platforms embracing the technology.

Accelerated Mobile Pages documents are built primarily for speed. While they usually are responsive, they are not simply responsive versions of desktop websites – they are responsive in a mobile context. In other words, Accelerated Mobile Pages are designed specifically to work well across mobile devices opposed to one page working across both desktop and mobile devices.

They control external resource loading so that the page performs at its most efficient, meaning that the content loads onto the users’ screen as quickly and intelligently as possible.

While some developers might choose to forgo beauty for function, it doesn’t have to be that way. When working with the right developer, Accelerated Mobile Pages can be modern, interactive and attractive.

Smashing Magazine offers detailed technical specifications for those readers who would like more information on improvements which assist Accelerated Mobile Pages functionality, such as changes in HTML tagging.

Apple News

Catering exclusively for an iPhone and iPad audience, Apple News replaces the old Newsstand app – the limited reach being its main drawback with Android now enjoying a sizeable chunk of the user market.

Still, many major publishers, including HuffPost, The New York Times, and CNN have embraced this technology, choosing to focus on the beautiful layouts and interactive news encounter which Apple News offers… and they do generally look very attractive. Photos, videos and animation are seamlessly brought together for a simple and quality reading experience – a feature often highlighted by Apple and loved by their devoted users.

Apple News also makes it easy to customise your reading, through the ability to choose favourite publications and topics which will intelligently and automatically filter to the top of your Apple News app on the next visit. On the flipside, this also has the effect of filtering out the ‘big stories of the day’. For most newsaholics, getting a good sense of what is important in the world right now is a major thing. The clever customisation feature of Apple News’ For You feature means that your news feed is focused on the topics you are usually interested in.

Some users have also reported that the WordPress plugin for publishing to Apple News is fairly rough, but others argue that this will change over time.

Facebook Instant Articles (FBIA)

Facebook Instant Articles were the first of these three platforms to release. The Facebook Instant Articles program is designed for websites which publish very regular content, such as news publications and very active blogs. In fact, some say that if you publish content regularly and rely on Facebook sharing for a significant portion of your traffic, it’s essential that you adopt the Instant Articles platform.

The benchmark of maintaining quality has been set by Facebook here, with all articles requiring review and approval by the Instant Articles team. Still, at the time of writing, unless you have 50 articles written and ready for review, Facebook will not add you to the Instant Articles program. This is set to change, and hopefully, the ease of joining the program and integrating a WordPress website with FBIA will also improve along with it.

On the plus side, FBIA creates a mobile-optimised copy of the article and partially preloads it in the background when it appears in a users’ newsfeed. This means that FBIA content loads up to ten times faster than standard content in the Facebook mobile app, which is a great benefit for publishers relying heavily on Facebook interaction. It’s no secret that Facebook users (all users, really) prefer content that loads quickly and therefore the expectation from publishers is that they will interact with and share FBIA content more frequently.

Over to you…

Do you use any of these platforms? If so, which one(s) and what was the deciding factor? Please share your experiences in the comments. If you would like help with growing your business’ marketing initiatives to include AMP’s, or have any questions about this article, please get in touch with our team at TwoCents. We’d love to chat. Give us a call today on (07) 3198 4890.

If you have a question and want to get in touch, contact us or call us 07 3198 4890. If you are interested in keeping up to date with Fuse, subscribe to our enews.