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Google acquires Relay Media to convert web pages to AMP

Google acquires Relay Media AMP

Relay Media, a company founded by a former Google employee who developed technologies to convert web pages to AMP, was acquired by Google.

AMP, Accelarated Mobile Pages, Google's collaborative project for accelerate the loading time of web pages in mobile mode – is getting an interesting acceleration. Relay Media, a company founded by a former Google employee who developed technologies to convert web pages to the AMP format, was acquired by Google.

Google acquires Relay Media and closes it

Relay Media announced the news to its customers on the homepage and through LinkedIn. Google also confirmed this, without commenting on it yet.

At least one person in Relay Media is already having a new role at Google, but, apparently, the CEO will not become a company.

"I stay out of Google", stated the co-founder David Gehring. "We will focus on the incubation of some ideas in the MPA area and also work with the WEF on a digital disinformation and fake news project", continued Gehring.

Google is closing Relay Media, as stipulated in the agreement, but will continue to use the service as the technology will be transferred to Google's platform and new publishers will be placed on standby at the moment.

"We are happy to announce that Google has acquired Relay Media's AMP Converter technology", wrote the company, and “The service for current customers will continue uninterrupted as we transfer the Relay Media AMP converter to Google's infrastructure. We pause new publishers as we focus on the integration effort. "

The note to existing users was disseminated with some more details: some contact addresses for support and an indication that the new AMP features will continue to be supported by the Relay Media converter for now, albeit with a warning:"There is no detailed roadmap on how the converter can evolve over time, but we can assure you that if there are changes, you will have at least 90 days notice so we can organize it." Those who continue to use it will be subject to Google's terms and privacy policies.

Google's interest in mobile web and amp

an interesting development for AMP, which Google has been building over the past few years as it seeks ways to prove that the web mobile remains a viable alternative for creating native applications. (Because Google gets significant revenue from mobile search, so if more people opt to use apps, less people opt for Google's mobile search.)

The fact that Google has acquired Relay Media is not really a surprise, as it is difficult to suppose that a business model based solely on page conversion to be compatible with the platform that invented and promotes AMP pages, is not in some way moment aimed at selling the system to whom the conversion is most interested.

The AMP numbers

Originally aimed at web publications, AMP recently extended to e-commerce and other types of online content. Google earlier this year said that AMP has been used on more than 2 billion pages covering approximately 900,000 domains.

The promise of AMP that the pages that use the encoding can be loaded twice as fast as on the usual pages, leading to a lower abandonment by impatience by those trying to visit them.

The downside for publishers who have less control over the appearance of these pages and how they can be monetized. A criticism that was made to the AMP pages (and their counterparts on other sites such as Facebook's instant articles) that take readers away from publisher domains and Google domains and therefore the traffic becomes more difficult to measure.

Relay launched its activity linked to the AMP pages in May 2016.

"We actually see favorable currents, in the turbulent waters of the digital ecosystem, in favor of quality publishers," said co-founder and CEO David Gehring; "More users encounter content on the open mobile web, compared to desktop browsers or applications, and the total cost of mobile ads is surpassing the desktop," he continued.

"Unfortunately the ability of publishers to compete on revenues and the engagement hampered by slow-loading pages and invisible ads. The AMP an opportunity to correct the path, providing the user with the immediate experience he desires and a clean and clear environment for monetization “.

Gehring knows a couple of first-hand things about the issue, as he was involved in the AMP project, when in Google, during his first efforts to effectively launch the program with the collaboration of a group of European publishers involved in the Digital News Initiative .

Between Google and Relay Media, Gehring worked for the British publication The Guardian.

Google acquires Relay Media AMP