Google adding AMP firepower to make Gmail more interactive

Google adding AMP firepower to make Gmail more interactive
Photo Credit: Reuters
14 Feb, 2018

Google is planning to change the way users interact on email. The tech giant is planning to bring the abilities of its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework to Gmail so that web pages and other content load inside the mailbox.

The AMP open-source framework was released in 2015 and allows content publishers to come out with rich webpages that load instantly on low-bandwidth connections or devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Adding AMP capabilities to Gmail will help developers “create more engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences”, Aakash Sahney, product manager at Gmail, wrote in a blog post.

So far, all actionable content on email generally takes the user to a new webpage or window to complete the action, for example, newsletters. Google wants to change this and give developers the freedom to create AMP-based pages that can be easily acted upon from inside the email, for instance, actions based on flight details or browsing through Pinterest without opening a new page.

“With AMP for email, you’ll be able to quickly take actions like submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire right from the email message… AMP for email will also make it possible for information to be easily kept up-to-date, so emails never get stale and the content is accurate when a user looks at it,” Sahney wrote.

Google has already released the developer preview of AMP for Gmail and expects many developers to work with it. It said it is planning to integrate AMP for Gmail sometime later this year. Companies like Pinterest, Booking.com and Doodle are already developing new experiences for consumers using AMP for Email, Sahney said.

However, the integration of AMP content inside email may lead to a rise in phishing attacks. To address this, Google may end up using its AMP HTML specification. AMP HTML is a subset of HTML for authoring content pages such as news articles in a way that guarantees certain baseline performance characteristics. Being a subset of HTML, it puts some restrictions on the full set of tags and functionality available through HTML, Google said in a blog.

In simple words, AMPs cannot be used to ask users for any personal data. This means that while AMPs in email might allow users to look at different things or browse websites, it will take the user to a new window once a transaction or payment is involved.