Stories, the short and ephemeral visual-heavy clips that powered Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) to existence, are the future.
That is why everyone is copying Snapchat stories and implementing their own version of it. First it was Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which launched Instagram Stories in August 2016. That was a wild success, so Facebook then put stories on WhatsApp and launched WhatsApp Status, which has also been a massive success. Then it was Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which is apparently working on a stories feature that will launch soon.
The most exciting of these stories features? AMP Stories.
AMP Stories essentially takes Snapchat news stories and puts them all over web, so its Snapchat stories with a far wider net (see an example here). The current version is somewhat clunky, but the potential of this new feature is hugely promising.
I actually think AMP Stories will be a major catalyst for GOOG stock over the next several years. Here’s why:
GOOG Stock’s Next Big Thing
Google’s roll-out of AMP Stories is big for two reasons.
First, it’s a defensive move that will protect Google’s dominance in the digital news search market.
It’s no secret that Snap is trying to pioneer this new era of mobile TV with its recent app redesign that separated “social” and “media” into different feeds. The new “media” feed sure feels a lot like traditional TV channel surfing. Just swap out the TV with the phone, the cable box with the Snap app, and the long-form cable content with short-form story content. It’s the new way to get your daily news and consume content.
Granted, consumer backlash to the redesign has been nothing short of awful, but so was feedback to Facebook’s News Feed when it first launched. A few years later, News Feed became a staple of the internet, and Google presumably ceded digital news search market share to Facebook.
Google won’t let the same thing happen this time around. By replicating Snap’s core story technology and implementing it in its search feeds, Google is defending its digital news search market share. It now has implemented the latest and greatest way to consume digital content. This move will more than likely preserve Google’s digital news search market share.
But it can do more than that, too.
And that brings me to my second point: AMP Stories is an offensive move that could grow Google’s dominance in both the digital and total news search markets.
Growing GOOG Stock’s Dominance
Content consumption habits are changing. Let’s look at the data: Social media news viewership continues to grow rapidly, while traditional TV news viewership continues to drop. This shift from TV to online is happening at an alarmingly fast rate (thanks cord-cutting).
Moreover, among social media platforms, the ones exhibiting the most growth in the news category are Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. These are all platforms which are built on short-form, usually visual-first content.
Clearly, there is big shift in content consumption habits that is unfolding right now. The days of watching the nightly news on Channel 10 or tuning into CNN are largely over. The days of getting your daily news fix from viewing a story on Snap or Instagram are here.
Google is successfully adapting to this change. More than that, because of the company’s tremendous scale — everyone uses Google — Google has an opportunity to take a niche but rapidly growing stories media communication method and make it mainstream.
This isn’t just 200 million people using stories on Snapchat or 300 million using it on Instagram and WhatsApp. This is essentially every digitally connected individual interacting with stories through Google.
That is a big deal.
As content consumption habits continue to shift in favor of stories, Google will grows its digital news search market share, thanks to AMP Stories. Ads aren’t currently on AMP Stories, but they will be thrown on there soon.
That means Google will grow its digital ad market share over the next several years, thanks to AMP Stories. I think this could all add up to a bunch of incremental ad dollars for Google.
Bottom Line on GOOG Stock
AMP Stories could be a big, multi-year catalyst for GOOG stock as content consumption habits shift in favor of short-form, visual-first content. More than that, AMP Stories is an example of why GOOG will maintain big growth into the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, GOOG stock is still trading at just 25-times forward earnings for a 25% long-term earnings growth rate, which is a price-to-earnings/growth (PEG) ratio of 1. Give GOOG stock a market-average 1.2 PEG, and we are all the sudden talking about a near $1,300 stock.
As of this writing, Luke Lango was long GOOG, FB, and SNAP.