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Twitter stops opening links in AMP on iOS and Android

Twitter stops opening links in AMP on iOS and Android


The feature is being phased out this quarter

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Twitter’s blue bird silhouette logo is seen on a black background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitter has quietly rolled back its support for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on mobile, according to a support page spotted by SEO consultant Christian Oliveira. The support page originally detailed how Twitter would automatically send users of its mobile apps to the AMP version of a page from links posted on the social network. However, at some point since October 21st, Twitter updated the page with a notice saying it’s retiring the feature by the end of the year.

According to data from SearchEngineLand, this retirement process appears to have been completed earlier this month. Now, attempting to visit a page from Twitter appears to send users directly to the regular web page, rather than an AMP version that may be available.

Twitter’s notice saying it’s retiring the AMP feature.
Twitter’s notice saying it’s retiring the AMP feature.
Image: Twitter

Although Twitter notes that the AMP allows for “fast-loading, beautiful, high-performing mobile web experiences,” the technology has proved controversial since Google introduced it in 2015. Much of the controversy centered around Google’s perceived control of the project, with some critics claiming that it amounted to Google’s attempt to reinforce its control of the open web

But it also has more basic user interface problems for a platform like Twitter because of the way it can mess with URLs, when it makes pages appear to be from Google regardless of the website that created them. It’s an annoying situation that’s led to the creation of browser extensions which automatically redirect AMP pages to the original article URL to reduce confusion.

Twitter’s support document doesn’t give a reason for its change in policy. A spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.

The social network’s move follows a policy change from Google itself in May 2020 when it announced that it would no longer require news sites to offer AMP versions of their pages in order to be featured in its search engine’s Top Stories section. The move was a long time coming following a Google initiative launched in May 2018 to take what the company had learned from AMP and turn its features into general web standards.

For more background on AMP, check out this 2018 episode of The Vergecast featuring an interview with AMP’s former tech lead Malte Ubl.