Google and Facebook have both introduced exciting new publishing options that instantly display content.
Google’s accelerated mobile pages presents fast-loading articles for mobile users, while Facebook allows brands to publish articles in whole right in its news feed, instead of sharing links that users have to follow through to the site.
Both offer a number of benefits to marketers, but both also have their drawbacks. Here’s what you need to know in the battle of Google AMP vs. Facebook instant articles:
Google AMP has far more reach than Facebook instant articles.
Google processes over 3.5 billion search per day, while Facebook has about 1.59 billion active users. It’s hard to compare those numbers directly because it is unclear how many people are actually using Google each day, or how many of Facebook’s monthly users are on the site each day or how often they come back in the course of a day.
However, it is still clear that Google has many more users than Facebook does, and contents on the site will get more exposure.
Mobile users are also outpacing desktop users, so preferred positioning on Google’s mobile search results will get far more eyes on your content than any article on Facebook, even at peak usage times.
There is potential to get far more visitors to your site with Google AMP than there is with Facebook instant articles.
Users don’t have to click through to your site for you to get benefits from either Google AMP or Facebook instant articles.
Simply getting the exposure that these platforms offer is enough to improve your brand visibility.
With Google’s AMP, your content will be positioned directly below paid search and above everything else, including highly optimized local search. You can get your brand in front of more people. Even if they are not ready to purchase anything right now, they will have knowledge of your brand for when they are ready to buy.
Facebook instant articles offer the same visibility for promoting brand awareness, though you are limited to the social sphere. Depending on your audience, the social arena might be exactly where you need to get the most brand visibility.
To publish on Google’s AMP, you will have to use a special coding language to format your article.
Some plugins are available to help you with the formatting, but the functionality is limited.
No such coding is required to publish with Facebook instant articles. That makes the platform more accessible and easier to use for most publishers.
Both Google AMP and Facebook instant articles have limitations on what can be included in the final format. Facebook has more restrictions and most limits the articles to text and a few photos, while Google allows more to be included. You will have to rethink how you create content when you are publishing on either format.
Facebook limits the amount of advertising that can be included in its instant articles.
There must be at least 350 words of text between each ad. If your content is primarily images, then ads are limited to no more than 15 percent of the content.
Google AMP has no such limitations on advertising, but you will still have to rethink the kinds of ads you include on this content to ensure that they are appropriate for mobile users.
There are many other ways to maximize the advertising revenue you can get, such as using CodeFuel’s proprietary advertising platform. Thanks to aggressive analysis of hard data and smart interpretation of user behavior, our platform is able to place the right ads in the right content on the right channels to make maximum impact and increase your advertising revenue.
You may not make the ad dollars you want through Google AMP or Facebook instant articles, but you will get the exposure and traffic that can help you boost your advertising in other arenas. The trade off is more than worth it.
Using these new platforms will just require a different way of looking at things, but you have the potential to do so much more with your site if you do.
The Bottom Line
There is no hard answer about whether Google AMP or Facebook instant articles is better. Both platforms have a lot to recommend them, but both also have a few stumbling blocks that can make life a little difficult for marketers.
You need to carefully evaluate your goals and where one or both of these platforms can (or should) fit into your overall marketing strategy. Neither platform will be the smoking bullet to get the results you want, but each should be considered another tool in your box to work toward your goals.
If you are not already publishing on one of these platforms, you need to start putting together a strategy for them now.