Google takes on Snapchat with its own ‘Stories’ format

Google has launched its own “stories” format on Tuesday to compete with Snapchat and Instagram with image-driven news articles. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Google takes on Snapchat with its own ‘Stories’ format

PARIS: Google launched its own “stories” format Tuesday to compete with Snapchat and Instagram with image-driven news articles aimed at mobile phone and tablet users.
Content for its “AMP stories” initially comes from outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, Conde Nast, Wired and US People magazine, and is designed to load much faster on mobile devices than conventional articles and videos.
“On mobile devices, users browse lots of articles, but engage with few in-depth,” said Rudy Galfi, who is heading the drive at Google.
“Images, videos and graphics help get readers’ attention as quickly as possible and keep them engaged through immersive and easily consumable visual information,” he added.
“AMP stories” articles fill the screen and are image and video led. Users can tap on the home screen to read further or simply swipe to the next article.
Google claims the format, which it is opening up to software developers, gives “novel ways to tell immersive stories” without the “prohibitively high start-up costs, particularly for small publishers.”
It was developed with major US media outlets and can also be read on a computer, although its promoters said the immersive effect is better on mobiles.
“AMP stories aim to make the production of stories as easy as possible from a technical perspective,” Google said.
“The mobile web is great for distributing and sharing content, but mastering performance can be tricky,” it added.
But AMP Stories give “gives great editorial freedom to content creators,” it claimed.
Snapchat, Instagram and particularly Facebook have all heavily used their own stories formats for full-screen displays of content.
Google said it eventually plans to bring “AMP stories to more products across Google, and expand the ways they appear in Google Search.”


The Six: The UAE’s most Googled people in 2018

UAE's most Googled people in 2018. (Shutterstock)
Updated 17 December 2018
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The Six: The UAE’s most Googled people in 2018

DUBAI: Google recently released its list of the world’s most searched for topics in 2018 and the UAE’s list of the most googled personalities show just how celebrity obsessed we all are at heart.

If you’re late to the party, grab your phone and google these famous names now.

Meghan Markle
The American-born British royal was the most googled personality in the world in 2018 — and UAE-based Internet users mirrored that trend.

Nick Jonas
The second most googled personality in the UAE this year climbed to new heights of fame when he married Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra in December.

Logan Paul
Third on the list is disgraced YouTube star Logan Paul, who was widely criticized at the beginning of the year when he uploaded a video that showed the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan.

Sylvester Stallone
Fourth on the list is “Rocky” star Stallone, who also happens to be the most searched for actor in the world this year.

Freddie Mercury
The UAE’s fifth most googled personality is rock legend Freddie Mercury — most likely due to the release of hit film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Sonam Kapoor
The Bollywood actress rounds out the list of the UAE’s six most googled personalities and her headline-making nuptials in 2018 could be the reason.