Google Introduces Web Stories [New Feature]

Google Web Stories

If Instagram can have Stories, Twitter can have Fleets why should Google be left behind. So here we have, Google’s own version – Web Stories.

From creative perspective, it is not different from any other platforms like Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter (am waiting when Linkedin will announce it).

So what we have is a nice vertical, full-screen experience. Brands leveraging Web Stories have option to create visual narration which visitors can tap and scroll through.

According to John Mueller in the recently released video, it will allow users to create bite-sized informational content directly on the website.

Let’s try to dig a little deeper.

What is Google Web Stories?

Web Stories are not actually new, they were previously AMP Stories.

Indeed, they are built on AMP framework of Google so each of them are in HTML form (for the techies) and give visitors a full-screen experience on mobile devices.

According to Google

Web Stories immerse your readers in fast-loading full-screen experiences. Easily create visual narratives, with engaging animations and tappable interactions. The Web Story format (formerly known as AMP Stories) is free and part of the open web and are available for everyone to try on their websites. They can be shared and embedded across the web without being confined to a closed ecosystem or platform.

Web Stories provide content publishers with a mobile-focused format for delivering news and information as visually rich, tap-through stories. Web Stories offers a robust set of advertising opportunities for advertisers and publishers to reach a unique audience on the web with immersive experiences.

As a content marketer, it would be a good addition to your content marketing strategy and going forward it could play an important part in ranking on SERP.

Other Advantages of Web Stories

Apart from the advantages of better ranking (which is yet to be seen), you will also have an early mover advantage. There are few other business benefits –

  1. Visually rich content on SERP, Google Images, Discovery, Google Ads
  2. Ability to integrate Google Ads
  3. Linkable Stories and thus you can have affiliate links
  4. Faster loading as they are built on AMP

How can you create Web Stories

There are couple of ways that you can create stories for your site –

  1. WordPress Plugin
  2. amp-stories Object

If you have a WordPress website, it is quite easy as you can just install the web stories plugin.

Once installed, you can use it to create stories on your own using the images, text & link features of the plugin.

Sneak peek at the plugin –

And the output –

NOTE: The plugin is still in beta, so you might experience some challenges at times.

Though if you’re technically inclined, Google has created the ‘Getting Started‘ guide.

You will need local implementation (on your system) of –

  • Web Server
  • Local Python Server
  • Apache
  • nginx

They have also provided various examples & templates that you can use to create your first web stories.

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you think web stories is a good addition to the Google ecosystem?
  2. Is the ‘Stories’ ecosystem already crowded?
  3. Will Web Stories affect Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat growth?
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