Google re­leases ver­sion of In­sta­gram’s ‘Sto­ries’

Business World - - TECHNOLOGY -

PARIS — Google launched its own “Sto­ries” for­mat Tues­day to com­pete with Snapchat and In­sta­gram with im­age-driven news ar­ti­cles aimed at mo­bile phone and tablet users.

Con­tent for its “AMP sto­ries” ini­tially comes from out­lets like CNN, The Wash­ing­ton Post, Conde Nast, Wired and US Peo­ple mag­a­zine, and is de­signed to load much faster on mo­bile de­vices than con­ven­tional ar­ti­cles and videos.

“On mo­bile de­vices, users browse lots of ar­ti­cles, but en­gage with few in- depth,” said Rudy Galfi, who is head­ing the drive at Google.

“Im­ages, videos and graph­ics help get read­ers’ at­ten­tion as quickly as pos­si­ble and keep them en­gaged through im­mer­sive and eas­ily con­sum­able visual in­for­ma­tion,” he added.

“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.”

It was de­vel­oped with ma­jor US me­dia out­lets and can also be read on a com­puter.

“AMP sto­ries aim to make the pro­duc­tion of sto­ries as easy as pos­si­ble from a tech­ni­cal per­spec­tive,” Google said.

“The mo­bile web is great for dis­tribut­ing and shar­ing con­tent, but mas­ter­ing per­for­mance can be tricky,” it added.

But AMP Sto­ries “gives great ed­i­to­rial free­dom to con­tent cre­ators,” it claimed.

Snapchat, In­sta­gram and par­tic­u­larly 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.”

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