Google embraces WordPress, now with Web Stories?

Background

Before Web Stories waaaay back in 2003 Google purchased a blogging platform named “Blogger” from Pyra Labs. As the announcements were coming out in February of 2003 another blogging platform was being developed by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little called WordPress. Fast-forward 17 years and WordPress is estimated to be 20% of the worlds self-hosted websites. (455,000,000) Including the one you are reading this on!

We find ourselves in a political time, with the United States fiercely divided. In the last few weeks major advertisers have pulled funding from Facebook Platforms like Instagram and Facebook. I bring this up because this feature is a direct competitor to the Stories functionality on Instagram and Facebook. Although initially stories functionality was made popular by Snap, Inc. *just* widely replicated on Zuckerberg’s platforms. Now Google has brought the same feel with Web Stories to Bloggers in WordPress as so many are abandoning the Facebook ship.

Google Development and Support of WordPress

Google maintains plugins for the WordPress platform, including Site Kit which enables the following Google Features and Functionality:

  • Search Console: Understand how Google Search discovers and displays your pages in Google Search. Track how many people saw your site in Search results, and what query they used to search for your site.
  • Analytics: Explore how users navigate your site and track goals you’ve set up for your users to complete.
  • AdSense: Keep track of how much your site is earning you.
  • PageSpeed Insights: See how your pages perform compared to other real-world sites. Improve performance with actionable tips from PageSpeed Insights.
  • Tag Manager: Use Site Kit to easily set up Tag Manager- no code editing required. Then, manage your tags in Tag Manager.
  • Optimize: Use Site Kit to easily set up Optimize- no code editing required. Then, set up A/B tests in Optimize.

And now they have released Web Stories for WordPress Community Beta to github

What is Web Stories for WordPress?

Here is what Google says:

With Stories for WordPress, we’re bringing first-class Web Stories support to WordPress

Google

The beta features a full WYSIWYG editor in WordPress. In my testing it seems to work quite well even on a WordPress beta test site, like this (5.4.3) 🙂

You can expect it to be a little rough around the edges, for example a trailing slash in URL breaks the UI, but seems to be ready for testing for sure.

Download the beta plugin here: https://bit.ly/3ivovCw

A Sample Web Story here from a recent trip to Catalina with Friends:

Click here for the full screen Web Stories experience: https://qstra.com/quiet/strategy/stories/catalina/

Enjoy it!

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