Back in October I asked why websites are publishing AMP pages. The lock-in aspect makes no sense to me. Why would I want to cede control over my pages to Google?
i publish AMP pages because my main concern of publishing on the web is to make it as easy as possible to readers to see my writings.
since i started writing on the web 15 years ago, i publish every single word i write in a RSS feed, because it makes it easy for readers to follow my writings. RSS makes it easy to read my articles as anyone likes. similar to AMP, i cede some control over my content, when i publish RSS. RSS-feeds can be read in an app or on many content aggregating sites like feedly.com or formerly on reader.google.com. those sites display my content on their domain, or to put it in john grubers words: with RSS, „from the perspective of typical users, the canonical URL is“ feedly.com or whatever aggregator one uses to read RSS.
the same happens with facbook instant articles. my canonical url might be internally used by facebook, but on a phone „a typical user“ has no clue of what the actual canonical URL really is. from the user perspective my content is on facebook and even internal links on my site will get displayed as instant article within the facebook app, if i click on one. there is no way a typical user can get to my site from an instant article from within the facebook app. instant articles mean complete mobile lock-in, once i choose to publish in that format. (correction: there is a two-click way out of an instant article.)
but just as AMP or RSS, instant articles get the job done: they make my content easily accessible and offer a perfect usability and consistency.
most importantly, i retain control over the content if i use AMP or instant articles. every change i make to an article gets reflected soon after i make it. that never really worked with most RSS aggregators by the way. even if my RSS feed changes that doesn’t show up on feedly. not even selfhosted RSS-apps like fever or miniflux care enough to imlement that feature.
i designed my AMP pages so that a click on the article title links to my canonical url, on my domain. if i cared enough, i could place prominent share buttons or links, that make it easy to share the original, canonical url of my article into social media. i think thats pretty much control. if i copy the url of an AMP page, or use iOS’ built in sharing feature on my phone, this is the url i get:
if i click that link on iOS, safari actually brings me back to the AMP page. on a desktop browser however, google redirects the link to my canonical url.
even if i save the page with my pinboard app widget to pinboard.in, pinboard — or the pinboard app — follow the redirect, before actually saving it. it’s not pretty, but it works:
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i have another question: why would anyone who can build a website post images on a site like twitter and cede control over those images? why not publish those images on one’s own site and then aggregate them to twitter or whereever it’s suitable? why do people publish to instagram, without retaining a copy of those images or clips on their own site? why post a video on youtube, when there are perfectly working players (mediaelement, projekktor) anyone can use on their own site?
i would answer that just as i answered the question why i’d use AMP: to make my musings easily accessebile. for nostalgic reasons i actually keep copies of every instagram (or instagram video) i post on my site. i also keep a copy of many of my tweets (or likes) on my site, but it’s not so much about control: it makes it easier for me, to find old stuff that i posted. but most importantly: i don’t care where people look at my stuff, where, on which domain they read my writings. all i care about is to make it all easily accessible and retain some control.