One of the big arguments for ad blocking is that despite a user’s willingness to support free content through advertising, intrusive ads slow down already overloaded publisher sites, making the mobile web a frustrating experience. Armed with this knowledge, Google is seeking to change all that with the Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP). Announced via its official blog, the project seeks to make the mobile web a faster, better, and still ad supported place. AMP is new open source code developed for publishers so they can deliver a faster mobile experience for users linking from Google or certain social media sites such as Twitter. In essence, AMP simplifies the HTML code used to build online content, and will prioritize load speed over other functions. It will also seek to improve the caching of content, so more updated versions of articles are shown to readers. As part of the announcement, Google also stated its intention to make its own cloud service available for AMP caching free of charge.
The source code for an initial version of AMP will be released on GitHub, with additional functionalities coming soon. Via the AMP site, Google has iterated its commitment to sustainable ad practices and its intention for AMP to support analytics and publisher subscriptions and paywalls, but details are not yet available.
The project comes as content publishers face increasing pressure from referral sources and ad blocking consumers to improve load speeds. Facebook’s Instant Articles, and more recently Apple’s News are both set to eat into publishers’ and Google’s profits in coming years. Whether AMP can offer a viable alternative is yet to be seen, but as consumers and advertisers, we’re all in for a faster, smoother mobile web.