Google formally announced on Wednesday a new initiative, in partnership with Twitter and a broad selection of publishers, to ensure that news articles load more quickly on the web.
But one word was conspicuously absent from the presentation: Facebook.
Google, once seemingly unassailable as the way people found news online, has been surpassed by the social network. In July, according to Parse.ly, which tracks traffic to web publishers, Facebook passed Google for the share of traffic that is driven to publishers. It sends about 40 percent, compared with 38 percent for Google.
Publishers, many of whom have also signed up for a Facebook initiative called Instant Articles to host their material, also an effort to speed up the user experience, are also wary of giving the social network too much power.references
Google’s alternative, called Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, gives an initial group of publishers, and anyone else who wants to use the software, which is open source, the ability to have their pages load faster on the web, through a browser. They are also able to use Google’s cache — a means of loading pages ahead of time — to further bolster speed. The stories will work wherever they are linked — on Twitter or even on what executives on Wednesday called “other platforms.” That was perhaps a reference to Facebook and Apple News, which are both closed systems that aim to keep readers, and advertisers, within their site no matter what content they are consuming.