Google announced a new news-focused tool on Wednesday, becoming the latest tech company to jump into the news industry. The new tool will reduce the loading time of news stories after they are selected from a Google search. Stories and video can take several seconds to load on the mobile web, an eternity for impatient readers
Google, Apple, Facebook, and Snapchat all want to control how we get and see news on our phones. Facebook started testing “Instant Articles” in May with a handful of publishers, including the New York Times, BuzzFeed and the Washington Post. Snapchat currently has stories and video from 14 different media brands, including CNN, Mashable, BuzzFeed, People and Vice. The Apple’s News app contains stories from dozens of media brands. All of these services are combining news from different publishers and can help you discover new preferences.
People are increasingly relying on handheld devices to access the internet. Out of 51 top digital news outlets, only nine had a bigger audience on personal computers than on mobile devices, according to the Pew Research Center. Any news venue that is not optimized for mobile stands to lose readers to competitors that are. Revenue-starved publishers are worried about losing opportunities to sell ads and mobile optimized competitors taking them.
The new tool from Google could be a key source of traffic and ad revenue for publishers. When stories load faster, it’s more likely to attract readers. They also help give you access to stories you might not see if you’re not a paying customer. Some publisher apps update stories throughout the day and store them, so they can be read offline. The ad experience is also better with these tools and apps. Google is currently working with publishers to improve the coding used to deliver stories to make the service easier for publishers and readers to use.