Gmail Rolls Out AMP Email
February 20, 2018
At the Amsterdam conference on February 13th, Google announced their plan to include AMP as part of the Gmail initiative. Gmail, Google’s email platform, ranks among the top performing email platforms across the web, and this move by Google may bring them a step closer to surpassing similar technologies currently available. For example, AMP is currently competing against Instant Articles, another open-source publishing tool implemented by Facebook.
AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, are used by social media giants Google and Twitter as a form of online publishing, which helps integrate ads and web content, and maximizes the performance of that content. An open-source web publishing tool, AMP has been described as a highly basic version of HTML and CSS. The idea of AMP is to include all the features of an HTML site, with high-speed, interactive technology which allows users to scroll through news, weather, and other information while simultaneously checking email.
AMP was first introduced by Google in February of 2016, in an effort to provide web developers with a means of streamlining content for consumers. One of the key aspects of the technology is its ability to provide fast, dependable, mobile browsing, with no fear of increased data usage. This is due to the lightweight layout of AMP, and the way it is optimized for mobile usage. This same principle will carry over into the AMP email layout launched by Google.
The implementation of AMP wasn’t the only Google news on the docket February 13th, the search engine company also announced the launch of a new kind of developer access, which has been made effective as of the Amsterdam conference. This access is a preview to the new interactive email experience rolling out this year, and will include more options directly from the email screen for time saving opportunities, up to date real-time content, and better browsability and content interaction.
The real-time reporting feature will allow users to check on online purchases, airport flight times, hourly weather, and news. The new AMP preview requires users to signup for access, while others can expect mobile and desktop versions of the technology to become available later this year.
Tools AMP Makes Possible
Some of the interactive features of the new AMP email rollout include in-window form completion. This is a time-saver, as past email forms would need to be opened in a separate window, completed, saved, and attached to an email for sending. This type of form is accessible and readable from your email screen. This function works within a business setup or as a personal tool to plan meetings, organize appointments, complete surveys, enter contests, and more.
Being an open source tool, Google has called on other online contributors. Some companies which have already begun to add to the AMP success include Booking.com and Pinterest. Booking.com through the AMP email layout lets users view search results, deals, and flight schedules directly from their emails, similarly, Pinterest emails will show a glimpse of available pins, much the same as you would see in the app. As other companies climb on board the AMP technology, users will likely see the experience become even more streamlined and inclusive toward various applications.
More Google AMP Updates
With their success with AMP, it isn’t surprising that Google is taking the ball and running with it. They’ve also announced that the Google search platform will be using AMP to include “Stories”, similar to what you see in apps like Snapchat and Instagram. These stores are a stream of digital content, viewed in a full-page to express top photos or messages from that day or week. The search platform will use the same technology to display a customized carousel of content supplied by partners.
The testing of the AMP stories feature launched on February 13th and included several methods of visually enriched content. The aim of the stories feature is to make the Google search engine more mobile friendly for users browsing via phone or tablet. The content loads faster than the average web page, and caches early, so that content is available before you click on it. Currently, advertisements aren’t being used in the AMP Stories feature, but there could be a place for advertisers to cash in on the concept later in the year, when Stories has taken root.
To develop the AMP technology, Google partnered with Vox Media. Vox CPO, J. Alicata has indicated that while “Stories” technology has been around for several years, this latest evolution is different than standard stories articles, and will deliver a unique story telling experience.
AMP for 2018
Whether email, search stories, or another format, AMP has become the focus of Google’s image display development strategy for the year. Whatever is next on the Google docket, you can be sure we will be seeing more Accelerated Mobile Pages throughout the year, and into the next few years, if social media and mobile browsing continues as it has. For a closer look at the new AMP layout, you can sign up for a preview of the newly launched Gmail format, or visit the search engine to see how the stories feature is working out.