Twitter and Google have come together to allow publishers to show ‘instant articles’ to people accessing their services on the mobile phones. The plan will be launched this fall with a small group of publishers, and aims to make the distribution of content on mobile phones easier, says a report from Re/code.
No more wait for users
The idea is when a particular Twitter or Google search user clicks on a link on their phone, then a full article pops-up on their screens without any delay, says the report citing knowledgeable sources. This means users won’t have to deal with the delay of opening a browser to read the articles.
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Google and Twitter have no plans of presenting their offering as a branded product similar to what has been done by Facebook’s Instant Articles or Apple’s upcoming News app. For now, the companies are referring to it as “accelerated mobile pages,” but the name might change before the launch, says the report.
People familiar with the discussions informed Re/code that Google, Twitter and the publishers have yet to finalize the business terms. Both Facebook and Apple allow the publishers to keep the revenue generated by the ads sold by them on their hosted articles.
Twitter and Google vs. Facebook, Apple
With this new offering, Twitter and Google plan to compete with Facebook, Apple and Snapchat, who have already made similar pushes. However, there is a significant difference in the efforts made by others and that of Google and Twitter. Both firms are creating their publishing tools as an open source project, and are quite hopeful to convince other tech companies to adopting this model. One of the sources aware of the companies’ thinking told Re/code, “The world needs an answer to proprietary instant articles, and Twitter and Google could provide it.”
The Google/Twitter plan differs from other mobile publishing projects in another way as well. Neither Google nor Twitter will host publishers’ content. Instead, the duo plan to show cached Web pages or a “snapshot of [a] webpage” from the publishers’ sites, says the report. Though this distinction may not be important from the users point of view, it matters to the publishers and the tech firms whose content is shown. This is very important for Google in particular, as it has been accused of not sending search users to other sites (ie, showing a bias to sending users to its own sites).