What’s happening:

BBC News ran a six-week experiment with the new Google AMP Stories format, announced last February, to determine whether the Instagram/Snapchat-like format would appeal to its global audience, and how difficult producing AMP Stories would be.


Why it matters:

BBC News is constantly trying to increase its reach in a world optimised for mobile. The AMP Stories platform would combine images, text and video in a tap-through interface for reader engagement.


Building the system:

BBC News set out to build a simple CMS publishing system, using AMP’s extensive custom elements for better performance on mobile.

  • BBC News first hired a design agency to create a style guide of eight templates that were visually appealing.
  • BBC then wrote Story JSON code for each template, which was lightweight and straightforward for journalists to use.
  • Language variants had to be incorporated, as BBC was creating Stories in both English and Russian.
  • Video and image serving needed to work at scale; existing in-house BBC tools were used for this.
  • Content hosting on the BBC website was set up, as well as automated Stories publication.


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