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Google acquires Relay Media to convert ordinary web pages to AMP pages

Google acquires Relay Media to convert ordinary web pages to AMP pages
From TechCrunch - October 9, 2017

AMPGoogles collaborative project to speed up the loading time for mobile web pagesis getting an interesting acceleration of its own today. Relay Media, a company founded by an ex-Googler that had developed technology to help covert web pages to the AMP format, has been acquired by Google.

The company announced the news on its home page, to its customers (one of whom, Russell Heimlich, lead developer at Philly blog BillyPenn.com, tipped the news to us), and on its LinkedIn page. We have finally also received a confirmation from Google, too (but no statement).

At least one person from Relay Mediaalready has a new role at Google. The CEO, however, is not coming along.

Im remaining outside of Google, co-founder David Gehring told TechCrunch in a message. Going to focus on incubating some ideas around AMP and also working with the WEF on a project around digital disinformation and fake news.

Google is closing down Relay Media as part of the deal but will continue to operate the service as the tech is transferred to Googles platform. New-publisher onboarding will be put on hold for the time being, it announced.

Were excited to announce that Google has acquired Relay Medias AMP Converter technology, the company writes. Service for current customers will continue uninterrupted as we transition the Relay Media AMP Converter to Googles infrastructure. Were pausing new publisher onboarding as we focus on the integration effort.

The note to existing users had slightly more detail: some contact addresses for support and the indication that new AMP features would continue to be supported with Relay Medias converter for now, although also with a warning:

Theres no detailed roadmap for how the Converter may evolve over time, but we can assure you that if theres a material change, youll get at least 90 days advance notice so that you can plan accordingly. Those who continue to use it are now subject to Googles terms of serviceand privacy policy.

Its an interesting development for AMP, which Google has been building over the last couple of years as it looks for ways to show that the mobile web remains a viable alternative to building native apps. (Why? Because Google makes a lot of revenue from mobile search, so more people opting to use apps means fewer people opting for Googles mobile search.)

The fact that Relay Media has been acquired now by Google is not too much of a surprise: Im not sure longer term whether a business model offering a standalone conversion technology to run pages in AMP would ever be as viable as simply being a part of the bigger platform for which the conversion was originally intended.

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