What Are Google Web Stories? (+ Creating Them)

No doubt that in the last few years, online visual storytelling is the new black. Particularly popular on social media, stories are also among the favorite communication vehicles of many other types of web pages. Be it for leisure or professional purposes. Visual stories are indeed an ideal way to grow one’s audience. Aware of this tendency, the giant Google has come up with its home-made recipe: Google Web Stories.

Evolution of Google Web Stories

As one of the Internet pioneers, Google always knew how to react efficiently to new trends and requests. In 2016, it launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open-source technology to increase the loading speed of web pages. The improved management of HTML and JavaScript was one of the components of success. This initiative was included in a broader collaborative project called AMP Open Source Project. The main idea was to overtake competitors such as Apple, and more specifically on mobile devices. This is how the first Google AMP Story was born in 2018.

Google AMP Stories are noticeable for being fun, catchy, ergonomic, and remarkably fast. Unlike other social media story types, they can be used on one’s own website. So they are not limited to only one page or application, nor removed after 24 hours. Another advantage is that they are directly supported by Google’s own CDN (Content Delivery Network). Therefore, they are easily accessible in the search results, within the ‘stories’ section. All in all, the story format thus becomes a much more interesting open web experience for the readers. People are now able to reach the content they prefer and the latest news with a few taps and swipes. The cherry on the top: the full-screen display, even on mobile devices. 

Satisfied with the positive reactions, Google re-baptizes AMP Stories as Google Web Stories in May 2020. Later on, in October 2020, a new collaboration starts with the well-known platform WordPress. This is the official birth of the Web Stories for WordPress plugin. Within the same period, Google introduces a stories carousel in Google Discover feed, which is a part of the Google app on Android and iOS. 

creating google web stories

Creating Google Web Stories

Creating Google Web Stories will be easier if you have a WordPress site. Indeed, thanks to the WordPress plugin, you won’t need to use any third-party stories builder.

All you have to do is to follow a few steps: 

  1. Install the official plugin. Once the plugin is installed, you will be able to visualize a Web Stories dashboard menu. 
  2. You can already start creating a story by clicking Explore Templates and then choosing among the templates. You can also create your stories either by clicking Create New Story or going in the WordPress menu, then Stories, and then Add New. 
  3. If you choose to create your story from scratch, you can use the Google story editor. 
google story editor

Google Story Editor

This editor is a handy tool using the drag and drop method. It comprises 3 main panels: 

  • The Element Panel: located on the left. This is where you can choose any photo, video, text, animation options to be added to your story. This panel is subdivided into 4 sections. These include the media files, the libraries (including those from Google’s partners Unsplash and Coverr), the text editor, and the shape section, respectively. 
  • The Workspace: located in the center of the Editor, this panel allows you to elaborate your story. This is where you can add titles, preview, and publish the story. This panel is also the one in which you can set a ‘safe zone’ mode. This way, you will be sure that your story won’t be clipped when displayed on different devices. 
  • The Design Panel: located on the Editor’s right side, this panel enables various modification possibilities through a card system. It also has a section called Layers, in which you can see the elements that you have previously added to a page. This is also where you can choose different types of effects. 
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The choice is vast, but don’t worry. The user interface is intuitive and friendly enough to make you feel familiarized in a short period. One of the best parts is the possibility to add links and ads to your story. Remember to keep it short enough (Google recommends 5 to 30 pages) so that the story remains easily consumable. Try not to write long titles and texts. Instead, try to favor the visuals to render your story more attractive and ‘full of life.’ 

google web stories plugin

Google Web Stories in Short

We have provided a summary for those who may be wondering what Google Web Stories are and how to create them. Many social media platforms have a Stories feature. Even though Google is not a social media platform, it didn’t want to exclude itself from the ongoing trend of Stories features.

Frequently Asked Questions About

You have options such as the Web Stories Gutenberg block. You may use this kind of tool to embed your web store into a post or content on your own site. This may increase your chances of visibility. 

Yes, you can go through Google News. Select the story that you want to save and click ‘Save for later.’

Click ‘Following’ or ‘Menu’ on the left. Then, click ‘Saved stories’ on the top and make your selection. 

Since the main target of stories is mobile devices, you can create them only in a vertical position for the moment. Horizontality options are likely to be added in the future. 

Yes, of course. The only limit is your own creativity. 

Müge Özay

Posts: 34

I graduated from the Department of Management Information Systems at Istanbul Bilgi University. I work with the Dopinger team in the field of digital marketing and SEO. I am sharing the content that I find useful with you.

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