Archive for February 26, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles

Nick Heer (tweet):

First, all AMP pages require a base JavaScript file that sets up a lot of the framework, lazy loading, and so forth.


AMP is designed to run only on smartphones — the “M” stands for “mobile”, after all — and its creators recommend serving different pages to desktop users. Why shouldn’t everyone benefit from a faster web?


Most of all, what problems does AMP solve that could not be fixed through the careful optimization of resources?

Romain Dillet:

The WordPress team has followed the project and worked on its own implementation of AMP. Starting today, any website on now automatically supports AMP. There’s nothing to do. Self-hosted WordPress websites can also enable AMP by installing a plugin.


WordPress adding AMP support is a big deal as 25 percent of the web runs on WordPress. The AMP project is off to a good start with WordPress’s backing. All WordPress sites are now potentially AMP-enabled.

Michael Rockwell:

I’m still skeptical about this whole AMP thing. But if I can add support to my site, with little effort, and improve the experience for my readers, I don’t see why I wouldn’t.


You won’t be able to publish Instant Articles until your RSS feed has been approved.

Manton Reece:

That’s just what we need: the worst part of the App Store approval process applied to the web. No thanks.


I hate to say it but neither Instant Articles nor AMP are really good enough. I think we need a third standard for super-fast web pages.

Dave Winer:

In a month or two we’ll be able to give him a writing tool that gives us both what we want, because of the changes Facebook is about to make.

I want him to get exposure so his ideas can grow. But I also want people who read my blog to see it. Right now they don’t want to click on FB links.

Dave Winer:

It’s built on RSS, an open format. The RSS can be used for other purposes, such as posting to LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium or any new service that might come along. So Facebook doesn’t have an exclusive on this flow.

Summary: Facebook is using open web technology to power Instant Articles. I’m not sharing anything that isn’t already publicly documented on the Facebook developer site. People have trouble understanding this, I assume, because it seems so out of character for a big web destination like Facebook to care about the open web. It’s kind of a miracle. But there it is. The open web is about to get a real shot in the arm from a most unexpected place.

Previously: Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, Facebook Instant Articles.

Update (2016-02-26): Kirk McElhearn:

FYI, I installed the WordPress AMP plugin, and Google tells me there are errors on more than half of my pages. Sigh.

Apple Retail Changes

Mark Gurman:

Currently, Apple Stores allocate a fixed amount of time to each customer per Genius Bar appointment: 10 minutes for iOS devices and 15 minutes for Macs. If a customer’s issue requires more than that time amount, the customer is typically asked to book a successive appointment.

Apple has relied on this system in order to fit in as many Genius Bar appointments per day at each store and maintain a uniform experience. However, Apple has realized that not all technical support problems are the same and is preparing to officially allow for longer Genius Bar appointments.


The point is, Apple has gotten way to big and it’s now impossible for them to offer the same level of Genius Bar help that they did three years ago. If you have an Apple Plan they spend more time with you, but I never buy an Apple plan for Phone or Ipad. The system is close to being broken, again because of their success.

Ben Lovejoy:

You could argue that a reward system with free holidays to California isn’t the same as putting staff on commission. But it kind of is: it’s giving staff an incentive to sell products. Sure, that doesn’t mean they will necessarily start applying high-pressure sales techniques, but it does mean they may be a little less inclined to spend ten minutes explaining iCloud, or pleasantly passing the time of day with a customer who has no intention of buying anything, when they could be using that time to have conversations that might win them a holiday.

You could even argue that it’s actually worse than commission, as you’re encouraging pushy sales at the same time as ensuring that only the smallest handful of staff will benefit.

The End of Standardized Platforms

Ben Bajarin:

You can see as the pie went from several hundred million computing devices sold each year to now almost 2 billion computing devices sold annually (when you add up PCs, tablets, and smartphones), the pie has gotten much larger but the landscape has also changed. While Android has the largest chunk of the pie, they do not have the 97% share Microsoft once had. The size of the pie and the global diversity of the consumer market brought with it the opportunity for several computing platforms to exist simultaneously.