New in AMP: Position observers, fluid ads and improved analytics for video & beyond
We’re trying out something new in the place of our regular AMP Roadmap updates. This new “New in AMP” format focuses on actionable updates. We’re also continuing to update the AMP Roadmap to reflect progress, and we will keep a section in this post dedicated to talking about where we’re heading next. But now, on to the updates:
Flexible, scroll-bound animations with <amp-position-observer>
amp-position-observer brings flexible and performant scroll-bound animations to AMP. You can use this component to build a range of features, including parallax effects, subtle zoom or fade in of images, and starting or stopping animations as they pass through the viewport. Check out the documentation to learn more, and stay tuned for examples and templates.
<amp-sidebar> can now power your responsive design
With easy-to-use responsive layout and features like srcset, AMP is responsive by design. We’ve now made it even easier to make responsive pages by releasing improvements to amp-sidebar that enable changing display format based on the width of the viewport. For example, users can have a toggle-able sidebar on mobile that changes into a fixed-position header on desktop.
Native video analytics in AMP
We’ve added native AMP support for video analytics with the launch of several of new video triggers and video variables that you can use within amp-analytics to collect engagement data with an amp-video. Check out the documentation to learn more.
Note that support is currently limited to the amp-video component, but video player vendors can integrate support with their video player implementations in AMP using the video interface. Get in touch with us on GitHub if you’re a video player vendor interested in doing this.
Get insight about user journeys between AMP and non-AMP with improved Client IDs
We recently introduced the ability for AMP viewers to more directly manage Client IDs. In terms of changes to AMP, this means that AMP viewers can now accept vendor identifiers and/or API keys included in pages by developers so that the AMP viewer can identify the party that is requesting Client ID information.
These improvements can be used to do things like provide consistent IDs between AMP and non-AMP pages. Google recently announced updates for its Google Analytics product that takes advantage of these changes to provide their customers with enhanced understanding of AMP traffic; check it out if you’re using Google Analytics for your AMP pages.
Fluid ads allow publishers to request sizeless ads
With AMP’s content reflow policy in place, we’ve heard from publishers that they are unable to request ads whose size is unknown at request time. To solve this, we are launching fluid ad support. The feature is currently available for testing in open alpha.
The best of the rest: Extension tracking, <amp-ima-video>, improved data freshness
- We recently changed the way amp-bind and amp-list work together to enhance support for fresh data.
- AMP extension authors can now also use amp-analytics to collect data directly from the page.
- The amp-ima-video extension has launched as an open beta to allow publishers to easily monetize video content. This is a lightweight way to monetize ads on your existing video content and is an addition to existing ways to monetize videos using amp-iframe or using a natively supported video player in AMP.
- We’ve graduated the auto ad refresh feature and SRA (Single Request Architecture) feature to general availability and you can test immediately, if interested.
The roadmap ahead
We’re also targeting a set of features mentioned in our last update for launch in Q4—this includes:
- Improvements to amp-image-lightbox
- Video features, including minimizing video to the corner of the viewport
- New templates and simple configuration for AMP Start
- A date picker
- Messaging between amp-iframe and other elements in the parent document
Looking ahead for analytics, some areas we are focusing on are:
- Error logging: We are planning to add a trigger that will enable you to log errors.This should help provide increased visibility on the kinds of problems users might be encountering as they interact with your AMP pages.
- Batched analytics: In several contexts, it’s helpful to collect many analytics pings and be able to transmit them at one moment, so this feature will add support for batching in AMP.
Last but not least, many publishers have the need to enhance ad requests with targeting or other cookie level information before making the ad request. We are making this easy with what we are calling RTC (Real Time Config). With RTC, publishers will be able to define up to 5 end points to enhance the ad request before making the ad request to the primary ad server. The intent to implement has been posted on Github and we look forward to your feedback on it.
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Posted by Lisa Wang, Product Manager, AMP Project