If when the word "Stories" is mentioned you think of a series of visual and textual slides with potential further interactive elements the format of which social media platforms has made ubiquitous, you might not be so surprised at where Google is going with its new carousel of Web Stories in its Android and iOS apps.
The company has been testing out Web Stories for several weeks or so, but has gone official with the new presentation medium today. Google teamed with 34 publications including Vice, The Dodo, and America's Test Kitchen to push out their first series of stories. Sites are in full control of editorial content, including internal sponsorship opportunities.
Web Stories come with magazine-style thumbnails and embedded headlines. Tapping on the thumbnail brings the reader into a full-screen experience featuring pages of still or moving pictures. Readers can also swipe in full-screen mode to switch stories.
These stories can be found in the Discover screen on the Google app as well as in pertinent search results — more than 2,000 websites already have at least one Web Story indexed. Depending on the subject, it's easy to see how someone might get lost in a wormhole of DIY videos or be able to catch up on the latest news without tapping through to a full article.
Publishers big and small who work with evocative media already have access to story-making tools through MakeStories, NewsroomAI, and WordPress. They can also build their own tool with help from some published developer documents.
Web Stories are going out wide to Brazil, India, and the U.S. now and potentially other countries later on.