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A strong network of AMP contributors and collaborators has been critical to achieving the project’s mission of building a user-first web. At Google’s I/O developer conference this week, members of the AMP team are sharing recent ways the AMP community has come together to improve key elements of the AMP ecosystem.
AMP has progressed a lot in the past year, especially thanks to the help and input of over 500 contributors. Components like amp-bind and amp-position-observer provide developers the tools to create their own rich interactivity on their AMP pages, rather than relying on more narrowly defined components. Along with these low-level frameworks, AMP has been focused on making it easier to create complex, immersive interactions. amp-fx-collection bundles some of the behaviors like parallax scrolling trivial to implement; amp-date-picker, now available as an experiment, offloads the complexity of a fully-featured date picker to a straightforward component; and with amp-lightbox-gallery, also available as an experiment, any developer can easily provide users with a seamless, immersive, media gallery.
In fact, AMP’s evolution has made it a viable solution to build entire websites. Major e-commerce companies like AliExpress have seen sizable business wins by launching a single all-AMP-driven mobile site. In particular AliExpress increased their conversion rate for non-search traffic by 31%. Combining AMP with PWA is also a powerful usage pattern, with sites like BMW.com building AMP pages within a PWA shell to load custom-built, all-AMP content for a seamless and fast user experience. BMW.com has seen 30% higher click through rates to national websites and 26% more mobile users overall. Finally, news content sites like Tencent who recently launched their news site built entirely with AMP saw a 2x increase in time on site and a 3.5x increase in page views per session.
Support for AMP in the CMS ecosystem is critical to ensuring it’s easy to author content on the web. WordPress is one of the most popular tools for authoring web content, so Automattic, XWP, and Google are working together to advance the WordPress AMP plug-in. The recently launched 0.7 version includes native AMP support, allowing the creation of entire sites with AMP with the standard WordPress content creation workflow. This work includes the development of two full themes with native AMP support: News and Adventures (based on the AMP Start travel template). Ongoing work continues with a focus on adding AMP support to all core themes, and improving the integration of the AMP plugin in the development workflow in WordPress. The next major release will be v1.0 and is already in active development.
Native AMP ‘Adventures’ theme in WordPress
We recognize the way platforms display AMP URLs are a concern for many, and earlier this year we shared our plans to improve AMP page URLs from Google Search. Since then, the AMP team has been working with Chrome and the web community to allow AMP URLs to point to a publisher’s domain when served from the cache. By utilizing the signed exchanges component of emerging Web Packaging technology, web content can be bundled and allow other parties to distribute it, while keeping the integrity guarantees of HTTPS. AMP project collaborators Food Network and Pinterest have built demos to showcase the capabilities of Web Packaging; one is shown below. To make this process easier, they used a new set of tools available at https://github.com/ampproject/amppackager. To learn more about the AMP team’s work on Web Packaging, see this complete blog post.
A demo using Web Packaging with an AMP page from Google Search
The possibilities of AMP extend beyond typical web pages, which is why we’ve also been collaborating with platforms and publishers on new, interactive formats like AMP stories. Content consumption on mobile is changing, with engaging, fullscreen storytelling formats becoming increasingly popular. While the web has all the capabilities to create content like this, the technical investment can be challenging. So to help meet this need, we are working with publishers to build the AMP stories format, a rich set of web components for storytelling on mobile. And while AMP stories are designed for mobile, they also work great on desktop. We’re continuing to prepare the format for a full release, but to learn more and try the developer preview now, visit ampproject.org/stories.
Examples of AMP stories from various publishers
AMP for Email
Additionally, we’re thinking about new ways to allow the broader web ecosystem to benefit from AMP. The AMP format is ideal for embedding content in other web-based experiences because it is performant, secure, and functional. While not immediately obvious, email is a great use case to enable actionable and interactive capabilities while maintaining the controls needed in an email client. To bring this experience to life, we’ve been collaborating with companies like Pinterest and Zillow. The AMP for email demos they have built showcase a new type of functionality that AMP facilitates inside the inbox.
Pinterest using AMP to enable interactivity inside an email
Most importantly, we want to thank the more than 500 contributors and additional collaborators we’ve worked with for helping to create a more user-friendly web. There are 6 billion AMP pages on the web, and they only exist through the work of the community that has come together to build the project. And we’re excited about the new capabilities and use-cases for AMP, which are brought to life by the folks working directly with the core AMP team. To learn about the latest in the AMP community, subscribe to our new newsletter, and to see all of the AMP talks at Google I/O 2018, check out the AMP YouTube channel.
Posted by Matt Ludwig, Marketing Lead for AMP at Google