Media content

Google is developing technology for Snapchat-like multimedia content

Google is developing technology to allow publishers to create visual-oriented media content modeled on Snapchat’s “Discover”, people familiar with the situation say, raising the bar in a race between tech giants to dominate broadcasting information on smartphones.

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Google has been in discussions with several publishers, including Vox Media, CNN, Mic, the Washington Post and Time. Inc.,

to participate in the project, which is nicknamed “Tampon”, people say. It could be announced as early as next week, one of the people said.

Google builds the service around its “AMP” mobile web pages, which are designed to load faster than regular web pages. The “St” in Stamp stands for “stories”.

Participating editors would run stories that could be multiple drag-and-drop slides featuring text, photos, and videos, just like on Snap Inc.

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Snapchat, say people familiar with the situation.

“Since the start of AMP, we have constantly worked with publishers and are working on a lot of new features,” said a Google spokesperson, who provided no further details.

Google is stepping up its efforts in a busy area of ​​the digital media landscape. In addition to Snapchat, Facebook Inc.

has its Instant Articles platform, which contains content from a variety of reputable publishers, while Apple Inc.

to the Apple News app.

Publishers are trying to find the best way to allocate their resources as the means of delivering news and information are constantly evolving. Producing and formatting content for different digital platforms can be expensive, they say, but optimization for Google is a priority because of the company’s ability to distribute content widely.

One of the main attractions of Google’s service is that it would tie into the company’s search product, providing publishers with a large, integrated audience for Stamp’s stories. Stamp versions of the stories could show up in Google search results or other Google products, people familiar with the program said, as AMP pages currently are.

Additionally, the stories could be posted on the publishers’ own sites, a different model from Snapchat, where the stories are hosted by Snapchat itself and are only available through the app.

Details of the financial deals between Google and publishers, including how they would distribute ad revenue, were unclear.

What kind of advertising could appear in Stamp’s articles is still being determined, people familiar with the program said.

Introducing Stamp articles may be another pressure point for Snap, which has faced questions about its ability to continue to stand out in a crowded social media marketplace. Google is just the latest tech giant to adopt features similar to Snap. Facebook and its Instagram platform have mimicked many of the startup’s features over the past year.

While Facebook and Snap are pushing publishers to publish content directly to their apps, Google is instead developing tools designed to encourage publishers to invest in their mobile web properties. The move is in line with Google’s focus on the open web, from which the company currently generates the majority of its ad revenue.

Apps like Snapchat currently offer the ability to create more dynamic experiences than Google’s AMP feature to date, according to the editors. But they’re hoping Stamp could offer a way to bring more “app-like” content to their mobile web audiences without creating slow, heavy pages in the process.

Corrections and amplifications
Snapchat is owned by Snap Inc. An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the company as Snapchat Inc. (August 4, 2017)

Write to Amol Sharma at [email protected] and Jack Marshall at [email protected]

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