Publishers to call time on Google AMP?

Is the end in sight for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. Vox, BuzzFeed’s Complex Networks and BDG are all considering ditching AMP and developing their own alternatives

Should they opt out of AMP they will be following Future Media which switched AMP off in January 2022 and The Washington Post which introduced its mobile alternative in 2021.

The ongoing migration from the format is feeding speculation that AMP may soon disappear altogether. AMP was introduced in 2016 in a bid to speed up page loading times on mobile devices, although Google has in recent months been scaling back its reach and removing some features.

Google is also facing a legal challenge as AMP plays a significant part in a lawsuit that was filed against the company in the US in 2020 which alleges that the system prevents digital publishers from using “header bidding,” which is viewed across the industry as a profitable way to sell ad space. 

The lawsuit also questions whether AMP lives up to its billing in being able to load pages faster. 

Stuart Forrest, Future’s director of audience operations, recently confirmed to Digiday that Google’s shift from AMP had proved to be a success.  “There’s been no impact on volume, and all the impact on revenue that we had hoped for. AMP was for all intents and purposes a shortcut to a better web experience for readers, but the cost to us as publishers was less than good monetisation for a variety of reasons. Now, the like for like monetization is much better.” 

Forrest adds “lots of publishers are looking at this [move], but very few are taking the brave step. If you look at some of the public domain tools for assessing the speed of sites then you’ll see that some of our peers are nowhere near fast enough to be able to switch off AMP. So even if they wanted to, they’ve got a lot of work to do before they can.”

Photo by Brett Jordan from Pexels


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