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Google & Twitter to launch open source publishing platform

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Google and Twitter are working together on their own version of ‘Instant Articles’ to display to users using either service on mobiles, reports re/code. According to the report, unlike Facebook’s Instant articles, or Apple’s News app, Google and Twitter won’t be a branded product. The plan is currently called ‘accelerated mobile pages’ although the name will probably change before launch.

The project will also be apparently open source in hopes that other tech companies will adopt it as well. The project will also not host publisher content, rather it will show users cached copies of the publishers’ websites. It’s not yet clear how publishers will be able to monetize the content, although we imagine if the platform retained the native ads this shouldn’t be a problem.

Note that in July, Twitter updated its summary cards on mobile (both Android and iOS) to show previews of articles within the tweet. Twitter claimed that with this update, users on mobile would be able to see the image, title and summary of the tweet in their timelines and that the format was ‘more attractive’ for consuming information.

Interestingly in May, Google started integrating tweets into its search results on smartphones. The tweets in the mobile search results are grouped into a carousel which users could swipe through to display more tweets. Google had reportedly signed a deal with Twitter in February this year, which would give Google access to Twitter’s tweets.

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Earlier this month, Apple announced The Apple News Format for publishers, which on release, would allow publishers to create editorial layouts and custom typography, along with galleries, audio, video and interactive animation. Publishers will also be able to use iAd, through which the could earn 70% of the revenues when iAd sells ads for them; otherwise they would be able to earn 100% revenue. iAd will provide publishers with campaign management, targeting and reporting features.

Facebook instant articles:

In May, Facebook announced Instant Articles, a mobile app feature where news from The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News and German news publishers Spiegel and Bild were displayed. We’d reported in March, that Facebook would apparently remove the usual ads of a publication (when the content was hosted on Facebook) and show a single ad in a custom format within each Facebook article.

Hike news stories:

Last month, instant messaging app Hike started aggregating news stories. Hike claimed that the News feature gathered over a million users within 24 hours of its launch. It was unclear whether Hike tied up with news aggregators or if it was curating this news through an internal team.

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