Google has a grand plan to speed up the mobile web

Google's Instant Articles play

Google AMP

Google is on a mission to get websites loading faster on your smartphone (or tablet), and today it's announced a new initiative called the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project to do just that.

By working with publishers and other tech firms, Google wants to make mobile sites quicker and compatible with a broader range of devices. To that end it's developed a new AMP HTML format that webpage managers can use to publish their content.

Anyone can use it, Google says, and the likes of Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress and LinkedIn have already signed up. "We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously," says Google's David Besbris.

Mobile wars

Google's new AMP initiative is providing an alternative solution to both Facebook's Instant Articles and Apple's ad-blocking support in iOS 9. Like Google, both Facebook and Apple say they want to make the user experience on mobile faster - but these technology giants are all fighting for audience share at the same time.

For now, it's not clear how or even if Google will prioritise sites using the new AMP HTML format in mobile searches, but developers are also free to use it inside their apps. The format supports rich content like images and videos, as well as - of course - a comprehensive range of ad formats.

For users, it should mean a more pleasurable experience when browsing the internet on a mobile device, free from clunky adverts and large amounts of unnecessary code. For Google, it's hoping to head off initiatives like Facebook Instant Articles and Apple's News app to keep content on the web.

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