Vijith Assar:

On February 13, Google announced AMP for Email, an attempt to introduce some of the elements of its Accelerated Mobile Pages specification into email, putting the company’s high-performance web publishing system right inside the messages. Gmail will be the first email client to support these new features, which will give senders a way to deliver complex layouts and templates, interactive user actions, and dynamically updated content. That first implementation isn’t even ready yet, and yet already this is looking like a catastrophe. It should not be possible to design dramatic changes to our most widespread communication medium in secret and then deliver them in a surprise announcement! That completely misses the point of communicating.

AMP is a high-performance subset of established web technologies like JavaScript and HTML intended for mobile-first publishing. It was introduced by Google in 2015 as a somewhat more open competitor to Facebook’s embedded “Instant Articles” format; whereas Facebook renders third-party links right inside Facebook, Google created a zippy new quasi-standardized format for the rest of the web — and then took the additional aggressive step of serving them from URLs and promoting AMP-formatted content in its search results. It has been met with suspicion, most famously by the the Register, which called it “bad in a potentially web-destroying way.” But it is certainly fast!