Google speeds up article downloads on mobiles


A scheme led by Google will allow web-based articles to load much quicker on smartphones and tablets, with dozens of major news organisations involved in the move.

Google is providing use of its servers for the project, called Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP), which is an open source project with many huge technology partners, such as Twitter and Pinterest. Facebook offers an alternative on its own platforms, currently.

It is thought that the use of ad-blocking plug-ins will be discouraged as a result of this development. As well as loading faster, downloading articles should also use less battery power, as a sizeable amount of the JavaScript code used in normal web pages is not present.

Publishers will be unable to display some advert types, such as ones including pop-ups and ‘sticky’ images (which move when scrolling through the page), but they can still make use of the same ad networks as before.

At the time of writing, the average web pages takes approximately 8 seconds to load. Using AMP however, articles should download almost instantly.

Google’s director of product partnerships, Danny Bernstein, said: “Today, roughly 40 per cent of users abandon an article if it doesn’t load after six seconds. We’ll support accelerated mobile pages in search in 2016, but the code is public, so publishers can launch them today, and we expect some smaller apps to be able to render AMP files immediately.”