A popular meme last year envisioned Snapchat-like stories invading everything from calculators to pregnancy tests. Perhaps it's time for that meme to make a resurgence, because stories are headed to a new, rather high-profile place: Google's mobile search results.
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The web giant's new AMP story format, launched Tuesday, "provides content publishers with a mobile-focused format for delivering news and information," Google AMP Product Manager Rudy Galfi wrote in a blog post. Google has teamed with several publishers — including CNN, Conde Nast, Hearst, Mashable, Meredith, Mic, Vox Media, and The Washington Post — to develop and test this new feature.
To see the fruits of their labor, head over to g.co/ampstories using your mobile web browser, and search for one of the publishers mentioned above. If you search for Mashable, for instance, you'll see a carousel of "visual stories from Mashable.com," including one offering tips on repurposing an old iPhone and another explaining the internet's addiction to slime.
If you're familiar with Snapchat or Instagram stories, these new ones on Google work pretty much the same way. You'll see small horizontal lines or dots at the top indicating how many pages are in that story, and can tap on the left side of the screen to go back, or tap on the right side to go forward.
As of today, the new AMP story format is "free and open for anyone to use," Galfi wrote. That means they can be shared and embedded across sites and apps. Google put together a tutorial and reference materials for those interested in building AMP stories.
"At a later point, Google plans to bring AMP stories to more products across Google, and expand the ways they appear in Google Search," Galfi wrote. Right now, AMP stories are limited to mobile search, but Google says they will eventually work on desktop devices as well.
This new feature comes after Snapchat last month started letting users share certain public stories outside of the app via email, text message, or on a different platform such as Facebook or Twitter. By allowing content to be shared outside of its walls, Snapchat is hoping to introduce newbies to the app and grow its user base.
AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, debuted in 2015, and aims to "dramatically improve" webpage load times on smartphones and tablets.