This coming fall, “instant articles” will be available on Google and Twitter to mobile users when they touch a link. What this essentially will do is have a full article load to their screen near instantly rather than the few second wait we’re all so used to. But the twist: These articles will be open source to publishers and Google will be presenting users with a “snapshot” of the article instead of hosting the pages themselves.
How it works?
This will be done by Google and Twitter presenting previously cached content from publisher’s sites. In this manner, Google and Twitter will allow for traffic to continue to flow to the publishers.
Indeed, this does seem like a different Google than the one that decided to cut traffic to Wikipedia and many other websites to index their own results higher. Perhaps all the recent allegations made that Google has been gaming the system have changed this giant conglomerate’s mind. Whatever the reason, publishers can breathe a sigh of relief not only with this factor, but also about the preservation of ad space value.
This is because the instant content delivery platform architecture will save the display ads that were currently running when the article was published and show them after they have been cached and selected for indexing. So this seems to be an all-around promising new function.
What is strange is that this platform will be completely unbranded by either Google or Twitter. Thus, when you see the instant digital content delivery platform in action, you wouldn’t have known who was behind it unless you read this or another article about it.
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Why introduce this now?
This change does seem to be a response to the new features Snapchat, Facebook, and the Apple store have been rolling out. Facebook’s instant article feature and Apple’s immediate news app are definitely putting some pressure on both Google and Twitter to make a change.
Facebook specifically has been turning up the heat as the numbers are currently reflecting a large chunk of the mobile ad market being taken up from Facebook alone. Of course, no comment has been made upon whether or not this content delivery platform architecture introduction is in defiance of Facebook’s market gain, but they did say this:
“The world needs an answer to proprietary instant articles, and Twitter and Google could provide it”
This statement is quite open for interpretation based on who’s doing the talking, but it is very clear that this initiative is aimed at fully being the front-runner in “instant articles”.
What is for sure is that this addition will make showing content both easier to the user and more accessible to the publisher, which will in turn raise the value of relevant content. As far as content marketing is concerned, it is looking to only raise in importance over the next few years.
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