Google announces an expansion of its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which delivers sped-up versions of news stories to smartphones and other devices

Google announced Wednesday an expansion of its program which delivers sped-up versions of news stories to smartphones and other devices.

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which aims to make Google a key hub for and challenge rivals like Facebook and Twitter, was implemented in mobile search results earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the program came to all Google platforms including its Google News apps for Apple and Android devices.

"In the few months since AMP launched, thousands of publishers have embraced this new format and are regularly publishing AMP-versions of their content," said Maricia Scott, engineering director of Google News, in a blog post.

Like Facebook's "Instant Articles," the Google project aims to bring a better experience to news readers by loading mobile pages faster than most news websites.

"Our tests have shown that AMP documents load an average of four times faster and use 10 times less data than the equivalent non-AMPed result," Scott said.

"In many cases these stories will load instantly. That adds up to a win for publishers and users."

The Google apps will show a "carousel" of key headlines and stories of the day, with the AMP articles labeled with a bolt icon.

"That way, users can know these will be fast even before they click," Scott said.

Partners with Google AMP include hundreds of news organizations in the United States and around the world.

"Today's news is a sign that publishers may want to adopt AMP if they want a greater share of the referral traffic from Google News," said Benjamin Mullin of the Poynter Institute.

"Although Google includes non-AMP enabled websites and articles in its results, the web giant has publicly stated that loading speed is a factor in determining which stories surface higher on the page."