After the recent launch of Facebook’s “Instant Articles”, Google & Twitter are teaming up to deliver accelerated mobile pages to their mobile users. Google and Twitter will launch their innitiative as an open-source un-branded solution according to a recent post on re/code.
Google and Twitter are taking the open-source route in the hope that other tech companies will adopt their platform. It will role out in the coming months amongst a select group of publishers.
The main difference with the Google/Twitter and Facebook instant articles is that Google/Twitter will load a cached version of the content whereas Facebook actually hosts the content on their platform. For users, there will be no noticeable difference between the 2 solutions, but for publishers, the Google/Twitter solution will allow them to host their content on their own platforms – an improvement from the Facebook-hosted solution for many publishers who are concerned about Facebook’s beholden grasp on their social traffic aquisition channels. For users, it should be functionally similar to Facebook Instant Articles.
Apple will also launch its own hosted content solution with iOS9 called “News”.
The Google/Twitter solution is primarily designed to improve mobile user experience with faster content. Google had a major mobile update in April that threatens to penalises webpages that are not mobile friendly in an attempt to push publishers to accelerate their development to mobile friendly webpages. This is due to a recent exponential growth in mobile device usage and mobile users accessing webpages through mobile devices. Page load speed is a major criteria for mobile rankings and it directly influences user experience (no one wants to wait 10 seconds for a mobile web page to load – which is often the case for many webpage publishers).
This new partnership between Google and Twitter may also be one step closer to Google eventually acquiring Twitter. Recently, Google also started indexing Tweets much more frequently in their search results, driving traffic from Google directly to URLs in tweets, even bypassing Twitter as a middle-man, connecting Google directly with the publisher. It will be interesting to see how this relationship evolves.
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