Facebook is rolling out support for AMP as part of its open source Instant Articles software development kit.
The company’s new SDK will have an extension that allows publishers to create content in the Instant Articles, AMP, and Apple News format.
Support for Google’s AMP will be rolled out first, with support for Apple News coming in a few weeks.
Facebook’s SDK will work by building AMP and Apple News pages with the same markup used to build Instant Articles. In addition, it will include the unique customization options offered by each publishing format.
“With an easy way to get from one markup format to another, publishers can then plug-and-play the markup in their content management systems or third party publishing tools.”
This is an interesting and unexpected move from Facebook, which was previously pushing its own Instant Articles format as the only fast-loading article format allowed on the network. Instead of forcing publishers to adopt Instant Articles, Facebook is now giving them more freedom.
Having to create multiple versions of the same piece of content to share in different places is a challenge that Facebook is hoping to address with this update. This can also be seen as a way to attract publishers back to Instant Articles.
As publishers have begun to abandon Facebook’s Instant Articles format due to lack of monetization options, this could be the company’s way to get publishers to come back. Whether or not that will work remains to be seen, but introducing a solution for creating three types of articles at once sounds promising.