Google has the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) platform which was an answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles which ushered us to an age where ‘loading’ pages were made to be a thing of the past. Several publishers have signed up with both platforms since the benefits are obvious but there are still some issues yet to be solved to make them better.
That is why Google is pushing updates to the AMP platform in two ways: Optimizing image delivery and the introduction of AMP Lite.
Google revealed that images make of 64% of the bytes of a page which means in order to make these pages even faster, optimizing images is a crucial target. They have done this by removing the image “metadata” like thumbnails or geotags as well as reducing the colour depth and colour quality. Google assures that the perceived difference would be difficult to notice and it will reduce the amount of bytes taken by these images by over 40%.
The other move is by converting images to WebP format which reduces the data use by 25%, adding the scrset attribute to reduce byte count on devices with small screens. They will also deliberately use lower quality images when Chrome users turn on Data Saver (40% reduction) or when there is a very slow network connection.
The other announcement is the addition of AMP lite. Google is launching this for people around the world who have slow internet connections with devices that have limited amount of RAM. They noticed that some AMP pages are not optimized for these use cases. This will be rolled out
This comes at a time when Facebook pushed an update to Instant Articles to make them more like Snapchat Discover.