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Nuzzel Now Supports AMP

Nuzzel is pleased to announce that both Nuzzel for iPhone and Nuzzel for Android now support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a new open standard for mobile news articles led by Google.

Nuzzel users can now experience instant loading in our mobile apps of any news articles that implement the AMP HTML format.

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In our tests, an example New York Times mobile web page that took approximately 3 seconds to fully load, loaded in less than 500 milliseconds in the Nuzzel app when using the AMP version of the article, without even using a cache.

Nuzzel is one of the initial technology partners of the AMP project.  More info on AMP is available at https://www.ampproject.org/.

Why We Need A Faster Mobile News Experience

The accumulation of years of cruft and bloat that has been tolerated in desktop web pages is now creating a poor experience on the mobile web.  As Felix Salmon wrote in the Guardian, “Advertising is making the mobile web almost unusable by clogging up our bandwidth.”  Many mobile news sites also contain large numbers of huge Javascript libraries for advertising, analytics, and tracking, which slow down page loading.

In “The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites”, The New York Times recently reported that “more than half of all data came from ads” on the top 50 mobile news websites.  This is why some mobile users are now trying ad blockers.  The New York Times further reported “For a number of websites that contained mobile ads with a lot of data, web page data sizes decreased significantly and load times accelerated enormously with ad blockers turned on.”  Other users are responding by using “reader” mode in browsers such as mobile Safari to strip out all ads, navigation, and Javascript.

AMP provides a fast experience for readers without eliminating all of the branding, advertising, and analytics that support the business needs of publishers.

Why We Need An Open Standard

Nuzzel believes in the power of the open web.  Proprietary formats and closed platforms are a step backwards.  News articles should look great and open quickly in all mobile apps, not just in a few.  These technologies should not be limited to a small set of publishers.  Mobile news articles should load fast for everyone, from all publishers, and in apps from Nuzzel, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pocket, Gmail, and other leading mobile companies.

Nilay Patel wrote in The Verge that “Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles are a sad refutation of the open web revolution,” but it does not have to be this way.

It is also unrealistic to expect the long tail of global news publishers to publish and republish their content into an endless array of proprietary content management systems.  The technologies of the web can be extended via AMP to support a truly open system.

Summary

Here are four options for how mobile news content will be distributed to online readers:

  1. News readers suffer through a bad experience of slow and bloated mobile news articles.
  2. Internet users resort to ad blockers and “reader” modes to cope, eliminating all publisher branding and ads.  This is perhaps beyond the technical abilities of some users.
  3. Selected publishers make a Faustian bargain, relying on proprietary platforms, requiring a lot of extra work on the part of participating publishers.  Many publishers are excluded, and many reading experiences in other apps are still not optimized for mobile.
  4. Both publishers and the app ecosystem unite around an open standard like AMP.

At Nuzzel, we think #4 is the best option for everyone, and we are excited to be an early supporter of the AMP format.

See more info on Nuzzel and AMP at FortuneRe/code, and Business Insider.