Google is bringing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to Gmail, making it possible to update a meeting invitation, get updated flight information and fill out forms and questionnaires, among other tasks, without leaving the confines of the popular email program.
The new “AMP for Email” project, announced this morning, expands the reach of the AMP framework, a stripped-down version of HTML created by Google, Twitter and other companies to make mobile web pages load faster. AMP for Gmail is available for developers today and will be rolled out to Gmail later this year.
AMP is an open specification, so it’s available for other email clients to use, as well. Widespread adoption of AMP within email could effectively end the need to click a link inside an email. Instead, more dynamic content will be available within the mail itself.
“This new spec will be a powerful way for developers to create more engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences,” writes Aakash Sahney, Gmail product manager, in a post announcing the news.
AMP on mobile webpages competes against Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News as alternatives to publisher websites.
Google also announced a new “story” format for AMP this morning, competing against similar offerings from Snapchat and Facebook’s Instagram.
With 21 percent market share, Gmail is the second-most used email client behind the native Apple iPhone mail app, far outpacing rivals such as Microsoft’s Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail and others, according to data from Litmus Email Analytics. That reach gives Google an advantage over other email programs as it rolls out new features.
AMP for Email will also let people get up-to-date news, weather and stock prices as well as track packages from within an individual message. Sahney cites the example of a contractor who can’t see a client’s online calendar being able to send email with an embedded questionnaire to find out when that client is available.