Should We Be Amped Over Google AMP for Email?

Should We Be Amped Over Google AMP for Email?

With more than 270 billion emails sent every day, wouldn’t people want the capability to interact from right within those messages by using Google AMP?

Well, “no!” not everyone, it turns out. First, though, some background.

What exactly is AMP?

Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in 2015 as an open-source framework to help speed up the mobile web by stripping out stuff like heavy javascript that makes over-laden web pages slow down our smartphones and drain our batteries.

AMP has since evolved to help create app-like experiences on the mobile web. No iOS fuss, no Google Play muss! AMP is “one of the best ways to build rich webpages,” Google enthused.

With AMP for email, launched a few months ago, people could now do lots of interactive things from within a message – make appointments, book travel, browse merchandise, get live information updates – and all without having to hit “reply” or click away from the page.

Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Why, then, are so many people giving the initiative a big thumbs-down?

“Terrible idea,” decried TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey.

“Google’s plan to fix email is deeply flawed,” wrote Vijith Assar on New York magazine’s select/all blog.

The Register in the UK’s Scott Gilbertson wants to “kill” AMP for email “before it kills the web.”

Why all the fuss?

Well, according to some naysayers, Google AMP for email:

– Messes with something that works on all platforms and every device. There’s a reason everyone has email, why is Google messing with it?

– Tries to “bridge the moat” in Coldewey’s words, between email and applications, giving Google access to the inside of messages it wouldn’t have otherwise.

– Doesn’t work in most email clients other than Gmail, and so just increases overhead and time spent in coding.

– Has security concerns.

Google had already incited ire with the original AMP, which was seen not as altruistic but rather an attempt to help it compete with increasing use of Facebook on mobile.

“Google AMP is bad news for how the web is built, it’s bad news for publishers of credible online content, and it’s bad news for consumers of that content,” Gilbertson wrote. “Google AMP is only good for one party: Google.”

While Google rewarded AMP-compliant publishers with better search results, those pages appeared under a Google URL served from Google’s servers. After multiple complaints, Google finally let the publishers’ URLs appear as an option for readers to click. It did seem like Google had maybe been a bit, um, “possessive”.

But, will it work?

So, is AMP for email a good thing or not?

Maybe it is. If it actually increases utility, functionality, experience and people like it – if it doesn’t clog up the internet or our phones – it does sound like it could be kind of cool.

Why not be able to surf around and do nifty stuff within the email channel? We all know how much consumers and marketers love email.

At this time, the 800-pound gorilla is not forcing anyone to include AMP in their code, so it’ll only take hold if it gains popularity with users.

How about we let the market decide…see what happens?

Meanwhile, we’ll hope the gorilla wants to play nice.