Barely two and a half months after the launch of its public beta, Google released its Web Stories for WordPress plugin on 23rd September 2020. So far, the plugin has over 10,000 active installations and has garnered a solid five-star rating from 8 reviews.
Google created the Web Stories format through its AMP Project to allow publishers to create visually-rich stories. It is primarily targeted towards mobile site visitors, allowing them to quickly jump through story pages with small chunks of content.
Content that is in the Web Story format will be appearing at the top of the regular Google Search. But there are possibilities for it to be seen elsewhere.
Web Story content will be shown in following places:
- Google Search
- Google Images
- Google Discover
- Google App
There are many requirements for how content should be formatted for Web Stories. For example, videos should be oriented in a vertical and not horizontal layout. Additionally, the minimum font size must be 24 pixels and each page should not be longer than 200 characters.
Another good thing is that Google also partnered with stock image and video providers to make free images and videos available to Web Stories users.
According to a statement from Google it said:
“…we’ve collaborated with Unsplash to make their extensive high-quality photo library just a click away, as well as Coverr, giving you high-quality, free stock video right from the editor.
We’ll add more templates, stock media integrations and features in the near future.”
They also went a step ahead to eraborate of the features:
“…make the production of stories as easy as possible from a technical perspective.
The Web Stories format comes with preset but flexible layout templates, standardized UI controls, and components for sharing and adding follow-on content.
…can be shared and embedded across sites and apps without being confined to a single ecosystem.
Supports analytics and bookend capabilities for viral sharing and monetization.
Web Stories enable monetization capability for publishers using affiliate links.”
For one to use Google Web Stories your website needs to be compliant with a minimum WordPress Version of 5.3.1. It also requires a minimum PHP version of 5.6.
You can download the Web Stories plugin in the WordPress plugin repository. But still, at the same time, you can install it through your WordPress admin dashboard through the Plugin admin page.
Google said that it plans to add more “stock media integrations” in the near future. According to a document shared via a GitHub ticket, such future integrations may include Google Photos and GIF-sharing site Tenor.