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The Problem With AMP

The Problem With AMP

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is a markup language similar to HTML that allows publishers to write mobile optimized content that loads “instantly”. AMP is Google’s response to both the Apple News Format and Facebook’s Instant Articles. The goal of the AMP project is to make websites faster by essentially disabling external JavaScript and caching all pages on Google’s CDN. While the intentions of the project seem good, there are a number of issues with AMP that both promote lock-in and provide a poor user experience.

Poor User Experience

Many of the AMP links to pages are either broken or do not load properly despite their HTML equivalents working flawlessly. As of the time of this writing, I am having trouble loading Reddit pages with an AMP link. The exact same link to the HTML version loads correctly. For pages from sites that do manage to load, many are missing important content elements that have been accidentally excluded during the AMP HTML generation process. I have run into issues with tabular data on wordpress.com sites that fail to load without any indication that something has gone wrong. These bugs are simply unacceptable for a standard that has been in use and promoted by Google for over a year, and there have been numerous complaints from users about AMP.

The largest complaint by far is that the URLs for AMP links differ from the canonical URLs for the same content, making sharing difficult. The current URLs are a mess. They all begin with some form of https://wwww.google.com/amp/ before showing a URL to the AMP version of the site. There is currently no way to find the canonical link to the page without guessing what the original URL is. This usually involves removing either a .amp or ?amp=1 from the URL to get to the actual page. Continue…

found this one to be an interesting read, especially since by boss asked me to look into it awhile back… and i know some pubs have asked us over at addthis about adding support for AMP to some of our social widgets.


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