At Google’s annual I/O developer conference in San Francisco, the company gave an update on AMP Stories, an open source library that enables publishers to build web-based, Snapchat-like flipbooks with slick graphics, animations, videos, and streaming audio. Google says it will soon introduce a “dedicated placement” in Google Search for AMP Stories in specific categories, like travel, along with components that let AMP Story creators embed interactive content.
The dedicated placement — a carousel of visual covers from Stories that Google first demoed at AMP Conf in Tokyo earlier this year — will appear beneath the Search bar on mobile for queries like “Things to do in Tokyo” and “The top 10 places to go in Tokyo.” Tapping on any of the covers will launch the corresponding AMP Story, which you’ll be able to navigate using swipe gestures and scroll gestures. Swiping far enough to the left will open the next Story on the list.
The new discoverability feature will roll out in the coming months on Search. AMP Story categories like gaming, fashion, recipes, movies, and TV shows will follow afterward, Google says.
That’s not all that’s new on the AMP Stories front. AMP Story creators will soon be able to embed new types of content — specifically Twitter posts, Google Maps, and YouTube videos — through components that will debut individually this year.
In related news, starting sometime this summer, advertisers will be able to use Google’s bid manager DV360 in conjunction with Google Ad Manager to target ads programmatically. And for publishers who use affiliate links in AMP Stories, Google says it’s working on a user interface element that highlights these links and dynamically shows the price of linked-to products and domains.
Moreover, AMP Stories recently gained support for 21 locales and languages, Google says, the latter of which includes German, Arabic, English (U.K., U.S.), Spanish, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russia, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
Today’s announcements follow months after Google said it would leverage AI to “construct” AMP Stories and surface them in search results, starting first with stories about celebrities, athletes, and other “notable people.”
Google debuted AMP Stories in February 2018 with eight publishers, including Vox Media, Conde Nast, and The Washington Post. Say what you will about them, but they’re a veritable hit in the Mountain View company’s book: In Discover, a stream of contextual topic headings and cards on the Google app for Android, they now reach more than 800 million monthly active users.