The smartphone is essentially a visual platform where images work better than long pieces of text. The mobile reading experience is based on a downwards scrolling or sideways swiping motion which makes the story take on a linear format.

Mobile storytelling is therefore a matter of working with text and images as integrated elements. Contrary to the traditional story format for print, images are not just illustrations. They are vital elements which shape and progress the story flow.

Engage your readers with AMP stories

The popularity of the smartphone has led several media companies to experiment with new visual story formats which cater for a better mobile experience. Formats in which images, videos and other types of visuals are key elements in the reading experience.

One of the latest and most promising technologies for mobile storytelling is called AMP (short for Accelerated Mobile Pages) and was launched by Google in February 2018. The AMP technology makes it possible to create visual content which loads at lightning speed with each swipe, is in a full-screen format, and is interactive. In short, a technology that puts the reader’s experience first. AMP stories are delivered to the reader as a feed, but are served in small, bite-sized pieces with images and video working as key elements in the full experience.

Create AMP stories with CUE

Getting started with AMP stories can, however, be a challenge if your existing CMS or content creation platform does not support it. Many content creators and media companies still work with publishing platforms which only offer a static, print-focused story template. CUE changes this by rethinking the anatomy of stories.

The basic concept behind CUE is that every story can be broken down into smaller pieces, story elements. These elements can then be put together in many different ways, just like LEGO bricks. By working with content as a collection of small, individual elements rather than big, fixed entities, you are able to create different storylines from the same set of elements and thereby have different stories for different contexts and channels.

This new story anatomy is applicable to AMP stories as well: a number of story elements are put together under an AMP page story element to form a single AMP page. Add more AMP page story elements and then you will end up with a full AMP story which the reader can swipe through on her smartphone.

Optimized for new mobile story formats

CUE is continuously being optimized to support new media formats, including mobile formats such as:

  • Expanders: short articles with embedded notes which can be folded out with a tap on the screen. By embedding “stories within the story”, the expander format enables content creators to make stories that are both snackable and in-depth at the same time.
  • Timelines: interactive articles which allow the reader to swipe through events in time. In CUE, the timeline story is broken down into timeline elements, one for each point in time. This makes it easy for the content creator to make changes, move events around etc.

Learn more about how to innovate your mobile storytelling with story formats like AMP stories, expanders and timelines in this video.