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Google Announces AMP for Email


According to some, email was supposed to be obsolete a long time ago. Well, neither Facebook nor countless chat apps succeeded at dethroning email from our lives. More than 270 billion emails were sent each day in 2017.

Today, with the launch of Google’s AMP for Email, the oldest method of digital communication gets another makeover.

AMP for Your Inbox

AMP for Email, announced along with AMP Stories at AMP Conf 2018 in Amsterdam, is based on the accelerated mobile pages (AMP) project, a platform used by more than 30 million domains worldwide.

AMP for Email, while in beta, is supposed to revolutionize the way we use email. Designed to allow developers to make emails interactive and engaging, the tool will add another dimension to e-mail so it will always be up-to-date.

The Good

The whole idea is doing more inside your email, without leaving the e-mail app. Developers will be able to embed widgets in emails that are always up-to-date. This will allow users to do things like RSVP to events, fill out forms, browse and interact with content.

Companies like Booking.com, Doodle or Pinterest are already on the AMP for Gmail bandwagon. An email from Booking, for example, would allow users to browse through reservations and click on them for more details, download bookings or update existing reservations.

AMP for Gmail Booking.com showcase

It looks great on paper. AMP powered email is:

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  • Up-to-date
  • Interactive
  • Available without having to leave the email client

The “Gray” Side of the Moon

Of course, there a few questions that come to mind. How will users react to an interactive email? Will they pay attention to updates inside the email? Do users need interactive emails? Are there any hidden costs?

Email was designed to be static. It’s a point of reference for communication. Emails don’t change. That’s what we got accustomed to. That’s how users perceive email. Taking this fundamental feature out of the equation defeats the purpose of mail. If we need dynamic content, we open the browser. Don’t we?

Why do things in your inbox and get a limited experience when a fully featured website or app is a click away? It’s just another opened tab.

And isn’t AMP for Email just another subtle way for Google to get inside our routines? Google already knows a lot about us. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But should we sacrifice our most private online asset: the inbox? Of course, Google, like any other mail provider scans our emails to provide “relevant ads,” but do we need Google to handle our daily experiences within our inbox? We already have Google’s AI assistant to do that. “Ok Google.” Do users need this? Did they ask for it?

Ready to AMPlify Your Email?

AMP for Email will be available later this year. If the platform is something that that will help you build better experiences for your users, then have a look at the developer preview. But think about it.

Doru Ciobanu

Doru is an old BMW lover with a big heart.

Posts by Doru Ciobanu

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