A year of open source funding
Happy new year!!! One year ago we announced our New Year’s resolution to help the open-source ecosystem become a little bit more sustainable. This is our one year funding report. For 2019 we intend to continue on our path with significantly increased investment.
We believe it is increasingly clear that relying on people’s volunteered free time to drive mission critical open source software is not a sustainable mode of operation. As a community we need to find new ways to fund the valuable work on such projects. We strive to provide at least some financial support to projects that we directly depend on and that are accepting support.
Total funding: $32,900
The projects we supported are
We’re super glad we’ve been able to support these amazing projects and are looking forward to do even more in...
Announcing AMP Conf 2019: Tokyo
AMP Conf 2018 in Amsterdam
Last year 400 of us gathered in AMPsterdam to share the latest AMP news, and learn from the hundreds of developers engaged with the open source project. The framework has continued to evolve since our time in the Netherlands, including a new governance model and many new publishers and e-commerce websites building with AMP. In fact, we’ve seen remarkable results and growth across the Asia-Pacific region in particular. With recent examples like Indian publisher Times of India, Australian car insurance website Greenslips.co.au, and Japanese CMS EC-Cube.
AMP Conf 2019 is headed to Tokyo!
This is why we’re thrilled to invite you to join us at the next AMP Conf being held in Tokyo on April 17 and 18. Come to learn from those working on contributing to AMP, those using the format, and the new committees managing the project’s governance. Whether you speak English or Japanese, you’ll find the talks engaging as we’ll be translating all the presentations into both languages. We’ll have speakers from the web developer community, core AMP contributors and companies and websites who have implemented AMP. Additionally get the latest updates on AMP stories, AMP for email and AMPHTML ads.
We also want to continue the tradition of including the broader community voices by inviting you to submit ideas for talks. We want to hear about the most...
LaterPay, Lessons Learned
Posted by Cosmin-Gabriel Ene, CEO, LaterPay
At LaterPay, our mission is to turn casual users into paying customers for digital content or services such as journalism, videos, and software. Our technology enables payments and micropayments without upfront registration and payment, facilitating the “use now, pay later” approach. This allows users to consume paid content and services on the internet with one or two clicks — without prior registration or having to pay in advance. It is only when the online tab’s limit is reached that users are prompted to register and pay via one of many popular payment methods. By decoupling purchases from payments, LaterPay lowers the entry thresholds for users to consume digital goods and services.
It’s almost exactly a year since we announced the launch of AMP Access LaterPay, the first AMP-enabled paywall and subscription platform that can be utilized by all publishers. The platform integrated LaterPay directly into AMP pages, allowing publishers to easily include a paywall and subscription model, in their AMP monetization strategy.
One year later, however, we continue to be amazed at how slowly the industry is moving to leverage AMP. After launching with our first customers in the US this year, and we wanted to encourage publishers to more embrace the solution and to share the lessons that we at LaterPay have learned...
Why AddThis chose to integrate with AMP
Posted by Mike Brooks, Product Lead, AddThis
Over the past year we’ve been extremely excited to share that AddThis released Share Buttons available as an AMP component. Our team has been tracking the AMP project since its announcement in 2016. As the web becomes increasingly mobile, it’s important for publishers to transform into this mobile era. At AddThis, we want to make sure that we’re part of this new community and bringing value to publishers.
Our first task was figuring out what we should initially build. We love iteration here at AddThis, so we asked ourselves what our smallest usable feature set could be to ship, and then over time, we could expand our features and product offerings. AddThis offers many different tool types, but our sharing tools are by far...
Ads on AMP pages became safer and more user-friendly in 2018
In the past year, the AMP team took advantage of the latest browser features to keep users safe & deliver a jank-free browsing experience. Because AMP powers billions of ads and pages on the web, these updates required no work from content creators or ad networks, making all AMP pages safer and faster for all users. Additionally we directly funded the implementation of the underlying security primitives in WebKit, so we’re happy to be able to extend the same security level to users of Apple’s Safari browser.
Iframe Sandboxing FTW
Iframe sandboxing allows web developers to set restrictions on iframe capabilities (e.g. the rendering of display ads). AMP now uses this feature to sandbox all ads, eliminating attacks such as auto-redirecting which could previously be performed by ads.
An illustration of auto-redirect ads
A combination of ‘allow-top-navigation-by-user-activation‘ and ‘allow-popups-to-escape-sandbox‘ attributes on the iframe gives web developers a practical way forward. It protect users on the primary site, while allowing the landing page to be functional.
Sandbox FeatureDescriptionallow-top-navigation-by-user-activationEnsures navigation from within an ad only happens on user action.allow-popups-to-escape-sandboxRemoves any sandbox restrictions on the landing page of the ad.
Initially users were only...
The Official AMP Plugin for WordPress
Posted by Alberto Medina, AMP and WordPress Developer Advocate, Google
Enabling a first-class AMP experience on WordPress is one of the ways the AMP Project aims to bring a user-first experience to websites and content on the web. There has been a lot of work over the last year to improve the quality of the official AMP plugin and today we are releasing version 1.0-stable of the Official AMP Plugin for WordPress.
Version 1.0 of the plugin integrates AMP content creation seamlessly with standard WordPress content creation workflows across both classic editing, or Gutenberg-based editing. In particular, a native AMP experience is supported in this release, allowing for WordPress sites to be built entirely with AMP, without a duplicate AMP version of a page in ‘paired mode’.
Features and capabilities of the 1.0 release include:
Content sanitizers: to help substituting HTML tags for their corresponding AMP components ones, implement optimizations, and feed validation information to the plugin compatibility’s tool (see below)
Compatibility tool: to assist the development of AMP experiences by enabling AMP debugging based on exposing extensive and detailed information about validation errors that may exist, the markup/scripts causing them, and the specific components on site (e.g theme, plugin, core) bearing the responsibility of that page content...
Contributing to WebKit for a more predictable web platform
Over the past two years, the AMP Project has been working with Igalia to identify bugs and missing features within iOS WebKit and then fix them. We create repro cases, write web platform tests, perform debugging and analysis, and, of course, write patches to actually fix things. We think this is particular rewarding work, because it helps ourselves achieve our goals faster, but also makes the web more predictable for developers overall.
In this blog post, we provide an overview of the work done in 2018 with hints about when improvements will be available in iOS releases or when they will have to be handled by Apple. Some of this work is still in progress and we keep proposing new ideas and reporting bugs.
We submitted patches for the following bugs which are now fixed in the latest iOS 12.1 releases:
Additionally, Igalia assisted Apple with improvements to custom elements. This one is fixed in the latest iOS 12.1.1 beta:
Not calling connectedCallback when a custom element is disconnected. For other similar use cases such as bug 183586 or issue 760, WebKit’s behavior was actually correct.
Use AMPHTML ads for better ad performance, page usability and user safety
This is part of a larger AMP monetization series on Medium that includes the below topics:
Ensure Ad Density is equal on AMP & non-AMP pagesOptimize your AMP pages for high ad viewability or viewsTake advantage of more ad competition with multi-size ads & fluidBetter than header bidding → AMP RTCTake advantage of video ads in AMPLeverage rich media ad support in AMPUse AMPHTML ads for better ad performance, page usability & user safety
Originally posted on Medium by Vamsee Jasti, Product Manager for AMPHTML ads at Google.
We’ve made a lot of progress in delivering a user-first advertising experience on AMP pages, but along the way we’ve learned that the principles of AMP pages can be transferred to display ads to make a step function improvement.
We set out to solve the issues of security & performance using AMPHTML ads (FKA A4A/ AMP ads) and have the benefits available not only to AMP pages, but also to any environment where display ads are served — regular web pages & mobile apps.
AMP’s tech lead, Malte, wrote about AMPHTML ads’ humble...
AMP Project’s new governance model now in effect
In September I announced a proposal for a new governance model for AMP that more explicitly gives a voice to all constituents of the community. Since that announcement we have worked with the community to improve the proposal through a wide variety of channels including comments on the proposal pull request on GitHub, issues in the ampproject/meta repository, and discussions at the AMP Contributor Summit. We are happy to announce that AMP’s new governance model goes into effect today.
Two key features of AMP’s new governance model are the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and the Advisory Committee (AC). We have endeavored to ensure that these committees consist of people who bring a wide variety of perspectives, with representatives from different AMP constituencies. The initial membership of these committees is:
Charles Vazac, Akamai
Dane Knecht, Cloudflare
Dave Merrell, The Washington Post
Elisa Budelli, Automattic
Guilherme Souza, Terra
Joe Alicata, Vox Media
Léonie Watson, The Paciello Group
Levi Durfee, Bulldog Creative Services
Nicole Sullivan, Google
Pablo Delgado, El País
Senthil Padmanabhan, eBay
Sumantro Das, 1-800-Flowers.com
Tim Jones, The New York Times
Tobie Langel, CodeSpeaks
Yinhuang Lu, AliExpress
Technical Steering Committee
Chris Papazian, Pinterest
Launching Ad Monetization for AMP stories
We’ve seen steady growth over the past year in AMP Stories and we are delighted to see the various ways content creators have taken advantage of the rich, immersive canvas for storytelling. We’ve been testing this with a handful for pilot partners and today, we are excited to give all content creators an opportunity to monetize their stories.
A CNN AMP Story showing a Google Pixel Story Ad
Introducing Story Ads
Story Ads are fullscreen ad placements that appear in AMP stories. When we set out to create the advertising experience for story ads, we built it on top of three principles:
We wanted to ensure that story ads were immersive and engaging. Like AMP story content, story ads use the entire screen to convey a brand or message using a combination of video, image, or animations. A user continues the tap gesture to skip over the ad if uninterested but also has a consistent way to explore the ad using the call to action button. In addition, every ad has a ‘consistent’ ad attribution label, so users are easily able to distinguish between an ad vs organic content inside a story.
Ad placement & insertion are orchestrated by the runtime and therefore story ads are shown to the user only once they have fully loaded. As a result, story ads by definition are 100% viewable.
2. Performant & Secure
Story ads leverage the open source AMPHTML ad...
Developer Preview of better AMP URLs in Google Search
AMP users and publishers have told us that they prefer that the original domain names be used anywhere their AMP pages are displayed.
Earlier this year, we demonstrated a technology named Signed HTTP Exchanges that supports transforming cached AMP URLs on any AMP Cache. Google Chrome has since started an origin trial for Signed Exchanges in Chrome 71. Today Google Search is opening up a developer preview of this technology that any publisher can try out for themselves.
Signed Exchanges, used by an AMP Cache, have benefits for users and publishers, beyond the visual experience of the URL bar. Signed Exchanges also:
Provide a guarantee, using cryptographic signatures, that the content is exactly what the publisher intended to show the user.
Allow the browser to treat a document as belonging to the publisher’s Origin. This allows a publisher to use first party cookies to customize content, execute service workers, and measure analytics.
Signed Exchanges are part of a wider web proposal named Web Packaging. The Web Packaging specifications, first proposed in 2015 as a W3C draft are evolving over time with feedback from members of standards bodies, other browser vendors, security experts, and publishers and web developers.
Steps to try a Google Search demonstration
Signed Exchanges are currently only enabled in Chrome version 71 or greater. At the time of writing, this...
So your AMP test doesn’t perform — now what?
Editor’s note: The following was posted on Medium by Martin Schierle, Mobile Solutions Consultant at Google.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are a great and easy way to build very fast pages, and as we know speed is key — for every second delay in mobile page load, conversions can fall by up to 20%. So obviously the first thing people do after they built their first AMP is to A/B test it, sometimes just to find out it may not perform well…
In fact it’s not as trivial to test AMP as it may seem at first. There are a few things to be aware of when you go down the AMP path of speed, and by keeping these in mind you should be just fine!
When testing AMP, different audiences often look for different metrics. Conversions are often a good target, but it’s important to keep in mind that AMP will have less impact the farther the conversion is from the AMP page. If the conversion is at the end of a 10 screen purchase funnel, it may not help much to just AMP the initial landing page, when the user might still have to navigate through nine slow pages afterwards to finish the conversion. For publishers, ad revenue is a compelling metric, but it’s often overlooked that the incremental uplift through AMP will not necessarily be seen in CPM, but rather in traffic and user engagement. For publishers it therefore makes more sense to look at revenue per session, rather...