Google AMP Is Expanding to the Asia-Pacific Region

Could reach another 1 billion users

Google is expanding its reach with publishers, ecommerce companies and social platforms to speed up pages across the mobile web. YouTube: WompMobile
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Google is expanding its accelerated mobile pages program to the Asia-Pacific region with hopes of reaching another 1 billion people.

Today, Google announced that major Chinese search engines including Baidu and Sogou are joining AMP, bringing around 90 percent of the Chinese search market into the fold of the open-source project. Another newcomer is Yahoo Japan, which has 58 million daily users in Japan. The news comes on the first day of Google’s AMP conference in New York, where hundreds of developers and partners are meeting today and Wednesday.

Google’s open-source AMP program—first announced in October 2015—began as a way to make the mobile web load faster to benefit publishers, advertisers and users. While it launched with news content from publications such as The New York Times and BuzzFeed, the program is quickly expanding to other types of websites, including social media platforms and e-commerce websites.

Along with announcing its major expansion into Asia’s search market, Google is also continued to expand elsewhere. The company said that by second quarter, Tumblr—an early adopter of AMP—will add more than 300 million blogs to the program over the coming weeks.

“I think one of the goals of AMP from the very beginning has been to get the entire tech community to really rally around one way of building accelerated mobile content that works really great for publishers, that lets publishers control their destiny, but lets distributers accelerate it and make platforms feel like this is really native code,” Google vice president of engineering David Besbris told Adweek after his keynote address. “Doing it in an open way, and across a broad coalition of tech companies, distribution companies and publishers—this is really just the long arc of what we’ve been working on since we first started the project.”

Other social networks have already been using AMP for a while, such as Pinterest, which now has more than 1 billion pages using the technology. (According to Pinterest, around 95 percent of Pin pages use AMP; it’s holding the other 5 percent back to monitor the difference between the old and the new.)

“Our primary reason for doing AMP is all about speed,” Sam Meer, an engineer at Pinterest, said this morning in New York. “Faster mobile pages mean more engaged users.”

According to Besbris, one area of expansion in 2017 could be related to e-commerce. For example, Snapdeal, an e-commerce website in India, has been using AMP to boost average daily orders by 52 percent, with a 97 percent increase in daily traffic on listing pages. EBay also came on in 2016 as one of the first e-commerce companies to launch on AMP. In a blog post last September, eBay said it had nearly 15 million products posted to AMP-supported pages.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.