Google tests publishing tech similar to Snapchat: source

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(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google is developing technology that media companies could use to create stories similar to those found on Snapchat’s “Discover” platform, a person familiar with the plans said on Friday.

Google’s project, dubbed “Stamp,” is in the early stages of testing with publishers, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Tech firms including Google, Snapchat’s owner Snap Inc and Facebook Inc are racing to develop publishing tools for media companies, hoping to fill their own apps with news, entertainment, sports and other content.

The challenge for such tools is making them faster and easier to use than a web browser, while creating an interesting experience for users.

Snapchat’s “Discover” tab is distinct in the way it integrates video clips with text and photos, allowing users to skip to a new story or advertisement with the touch of a finger.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the development of Google Stamp earlier on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Google has been in discussions with several publishers, including Vox Media, Time Warner Inc’s CNN, Mic, the Washington Post and Time Inc to participate in the project, the newspaper said.

Google said in a statement: “We don’t have anything to announce at the moment but look forward to sharing more soon.”

The name Stamp echoes an existing Google product, Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, that allows for faster loading of online news stories. Facebook has a competing product, Instant Articles.

Reporting by David Ingram in San Francisco, Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru and Jessica Toonkel in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and David Gregorio

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