Opinion on Google AMP for Gmail?
Read: Bringing the power of AMP to Gmail
See: A New Frontier for AMP (AMP Conf 2018)
I am opposed to AMP in general. For email, I am wildly opposed.
Aside from the whole proprietary format thing, this would allow requests for and execution of scripts as well as dynamically replacing content after sent. It also adds a fourth MIME part text/x-amp-html (in addition to text/plain, text/html and text/watch-html), and requires another codebase to extend the total file size for this progressive enhancement.
What do you think?
I'm pretty much opposed to anything that acts as a secondary layer to standards when it comes to the web. All the stated goals of AMP can be achieved via normal HTML, CSS and JS if the true focus was on mobile speed. Most publishers sites are bloated due to including the numerous scripts that come along with their chosen advertising/tracking/analytical/social platforms. We all know the web has a definite over-eating problem–no non-app page can justify being 10s of MB in size–but is AMP really the solution?
If Google had let it be known that page load was going to be a major factor in their ranking formula publishers would be putting their sites on a diet real quick. Mostly, AMP has achieved a way for google to keep the end user in Googles eco-system and allows them to collect ever more data. In some ways it is good from the users perspective – even there it has it's issues – but is it good for the web as a whole? In the end I think AMP is doing more harm than good to both publisher and consumer.
AMP for email sounds of nothing more than a bad joke. EVERYTHING it achieves can already be done – if Google would update and standardize their CSS support across offerings – just like the web version of AMP. I see a couple big problems with it as well:
1) Most marketers won't be able to send AMP emails as it requires an additional MIME attachment to the email. Without incentives from Google or large demand from clients I don't see ESP's quickly rolling out this functionality.
2) An AMP email is going to increase the size of emails and the bandwidth required to work with them. While AMP for web greatly decreases the bandwidth required AMP for email will increase load times as it's adding in a completely separate attachment. Google's servers are likely only going to grab the AMP portion of an email to send to the user but every other mail client is going to download the text/plain, text/html and text/text-x-amphtml portions of the email before even getting to the render phase.
3) We all know how corporate/gov/educational networks can be overzealous with their spam and virus filtering and how slowly they are to update these installs. Given that AMP would be an unknown mime-type to the majority of these systems it could easily result in any email that contained an AMP attachment being quarantined erroneously.
Aside from the technical hurdles and foibles it introduces I think AMP for email would ultimately make all emails seem the same. Just like AMP for the web has made a large swath of the internet adhere to googles ideas for design. For all the issues the email world currently has creativity isn't one of them. We've all seen our fair share of horrible emails but I don't think AMP is the solution to making them better.
Ultimately I think AMP email is a solution looking for a problem. Personally I hope it goes the way of Grid View, a quiet uneventful death before full roll-out.
Going to copy-paste my massive Twitter thread here to contribute my thoughts :)
What does #AMP4email mean for the #emailmarketing industry? Here’s my take as a 10+ year industry veteran, “thought leader”, and member of the #emailgeeks community.
(In case you missed it, and have no idea what I'm talking about, this post will get you up to speed on yesterday’s #AMPConf announcement: https://litmus.com/blog/gmail-announces-native-support-dynamic-interactive-email-powered-amp )
It's great to see an inbox provider/ISP supporting innovation in email, and specifically interactive/dynamic email. Even better that they are advocating for creating a "standard". But...
Proprietary solutions (or "standards") that are specific to one type of inbox aren't sustainable as a long-term solution (remember Hotmail Active Mail? >>> http://www.emaildesignreview.com/email-industry-insight/hotmail-test-interactive-email-messages-with-active-mail-772/ )
Gmail/Google claims that AMP is open source, but will other inbox providers/competitors contribute to, or adopt AMP, as a standard? Probably not. And that makes fragmentation/support worse, not better.
ESPs will need to get onboard with supporting a third MIME type to even send AMP-enabled email. This didn't go so well with the Apple Watch (context: https://litmus.com/blog/how-to-send-hidden-version-email-apple-watch ). Today two MIME types (text and html) are standard.
The requirement to add a third MIME type (aka "Gmail version") of an email will mean that only top-tier brands and agencies adopt AMP-enabled email due to increased email production and testing costs.
I'm cautiously optimistic about #AMP4Email. It's cool, yes. It's innovative, yes. Email needs more innovation. But is this the right way to approach it? Not sure. We'll have to see how it plays out over the next year.
The comments on its github page are great.
This is an interesting idea, I just don’t know if it will work for our campaigns. I think the static part of e-mail is helpful to a lot of our audience, who probably just goes back to their e-mail and expects it to look the same. I reference back to old e-mails all the time and expect them to look the same because sometimes I don’t have time to thoroughly read/act on them at the moment I get them.
Now if we were doing an online store promotion, this would be good so that we could update the deals on the fly, but I wonder what receiptents would think if they were expecting to see the deal for their Valentine’s Day shirt was no longer there and dynamically had been updated to a St. Patrick’s Day shirt. Would they be unhappy they can’t see the Valentine’s Day deal they were expecting?
Just saw this post from Justin @ FreshInbox:
AMP for Email: What You Need to Know About Google’s New Interactive Email Effort
It's good for users but for us it's not all that great.
It would be complicated because AMP optimized emails will not work great with other email providers and Gmail isn't only email provider.
Also, it will keep visitors on their ecosystem, giving us less clicks to emails and visitors to our websites.
The comments and threads on Github just keep coming as well.
Then, this was published yesterday: AMP for email is a terrible idea.
There is a real opportunity here to get aligned and finally publish real specs on email standards via the W3C HTML for Email CG.