Google has unveiled its own version of stories to compete with Snapchat and Instagram with image-driven news articles aimed at mobile phone and tablet users. This will be a new way to share and view stories in its search engine.
The feature, which offers swipeable slides of text, photos, graphics and videos and is based on code from Google’s fast-loading Accelerated Mobile Pages, was developed with help from publishers including Hearst Corp., Condè Nast, Mashable, Meredith Corp. Called AMP stories, the new Google template is free and available to anyone.
Commenting on the new feature Rudy Galfi said: “On mobile devices, users browse lots of articles, but engage with few in-depth. Images, videos and graphics help get readers’ attention as quickly as possible and keep them engaged through immersive and easily consumable visual information.”
AMP stories articles fill the screen and are image and video led. Users can tap on the home screen to read further or simply swipe to the next article.
Google claims the format, which it is opening up to software developers, gives “novel ways to tell immersive stories” without the “prohibitively high start-up costs, particularly for small publishers”.
Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have all heavily used their own stories formats for full-screen displays of content.
Google said it eventually plans to bring “AMP stories to more products across Google, and expand the ways they appear in Google Search.”