Google unveils fast-loading news page project

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Google unveils fast-loading news page project

Google is set to launch a new service in Korea that can deliver news pages four times faster to mobile devices.

Eight major domestic media outlets have already embraced the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project which is expected to be available by the end of this month.

Google Korea said on Thursday that other foreign media outlets are also prepared to adopt the system, which is a stripped-down form of HTML designed to reduce loading time.

The partner news companies include the JoongAng Ilbo, news cable network YTN, Yonhap News Agency, Chosun Ilbo, Maeil Business Newspaper, Korea Economic Daily, Newstapa and Slow News. The publishers have already test-operated the AMP service.

AMP pages load four times faster regardless of the content and use eight times less data than conventional mobile-optimized pages, according to Google.

As well as the increased speed, the open-source format can deliver more user-friendly mobile pages.

The system will also allow for different forms of advertising, such as moving graphics and videos, to be displayed more quickly and seamlessly.

With the simpler format, publishers can also save time in displaying text and other media for mobile users, the company said.

The launch follows the release of Facebook’s Instant Articles news feed last year, as Google seeks to counter the dominance of the social networking service in media and news consumption. The local partners of Facebook’s service include SBS News and Huffington Post Korea.

The California-based company emphasized the importance of loading time, since slow page shifting can immediately turn away mobile readers.

Rudy Galfi, product manager of AMP, said that 40 percent of users switched to another page if a page loads for more than three seconds.

Different media players abroad have expressed their intention to join the project. These include Network18, NDTV and DNA India in India; Tempo and Kompass in Indonesia; Inquirer in the Philippines; Televisa and Grupo Expansion in Mexico; Fox News in the United States; and Nikkan Sports, CINEMATODAY and IID in Japan.

Along with media companies, messaging apps such as LINE, Viber and Tango are expected to link to AMP content in early 2016.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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