Speeding up news apps with AMP
Shz.de is one of the top news publishers in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s most northern state. Each month around 1.5 million unique users access our content to stay up to date on local news. In 2011 we saw an increasing number of our readers viewing content on their mobile phones, so we produced a mobile app, which has been downloaded over 40,000 times.
After 4 years of minor updates, we decided to completely rebuild our app because it was difficult and resource intensive to keep up with app store update cycles and RSS limitation. Our plan was to use mobile web content inside the app which gave us flexibility and cost-effective development, but we still wanted to ensure content loaded quickly inside the app. Our team learned about the Accelerated Mobile Pages project through documentation on AMPproject.org and by inspecting examples on ampbyexample.com. We were excited by the possibility of having content flexibility across platforms with near instantaneous page load times. “Our belief is that anything less than instant kills engagement. Why not integrate AMP article pages in our native apps?”, explains CEO Nicolas L. Fromm.
We piloted utilizing AMP pages inside our smallest mobile app and were extremely pleased with the results. With only a few hours of additional development work, we were seeing articles load 4x faster than in previous app versions. Additionally, pageviews per session increased by 25% – achieving our goal of both speed and engagement. With these initial easy wins, we quickly rolled out the AMP format to our other apps.
Using AMP pages inside our app has provided fantastic improvements with speed and user engagement, but we’re not stopping there. We’re now exploring improving caching and offline support in our app. We look forward to these future enhancements and are excited to share our success with AMP. As Mr. Fromm said, “We’re in the business of creating engagement, building loyalty and monetizing quality journalism. Our main goal in building digital products is to create a frictionless and uninterrupted reading experience in our apps and news sites.”
Posted by Mario Lorenzen, Portal Manager, mh:n digital