New mobile platforms aid users, penalize publishers

News publishers are again the pawns in a chess game among the big technology platforms, mainly Google, Facebook, and Apple.

And while publishers are losing control of their future, users are gaining a better experience with pages that load faster on mobile devices.

This is the scenario that is emerging with the expanded rollout of Facebook's Instant Articles, Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages, and Apple's iOS9 and News products.

I have spent a weekend reading over expert commentaries on the business and technical aspects of the latest innovations in Internet technology. What all three of these innovations have in common is that they are aimed at serving mobile users better and that they claim to help publishers gain revenue, audience, and data about users. Many of the commentators are worried that publishers are losing out to the platforms.

Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of the Verge, was warning back in November that the battle among Google, Facebook, and Apple to corral mobile users and advertisers would cause the most damage to independent digital publishers on the open Web.
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