Is The Web as We Know It Dying?

By Jeff Bullas

Is the Web as We Know it Dying

Something big is happening.

The smartphone revolution that only started 10 years ago with the invention of the iPhone is changing our web behaviour. A report by Forrester revealed that we are spending 85% of our time on our mobile phone using apps and only 15% in the browser.

We are also spending 85% of that time only using 5 apps. These include Apple, Facebook and Google.

Does this mean that the open web we know and love under threat? The promise was a place where we all had a voice. But are the major platforms getting too much control of that share of voice?

Is the Internet of apps and dominant platforms destroying the internet of websites?

Tim Berners-Lee’s vision (The inventor of the World Wide Web) saw the web as “an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries“.

That vision is what excited me back in 1995. It still does today.

But is the utopian web future vanishing?

In an interview in 2010 in Wired Magazine, Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff had this to say about the future of the Internet

“If we’re moving away from the open Web, it’s at least in part because of the rising dominance of businesspeople more inclined to think in the all-or-nothing terms of traditional media than in the come-one-come-all collectivist utopianism of the Web.

The trend of consolidation is repeated in every new industry as outlined in the book “Master Switch” by Tim Wu.

This reality on the commercial web is now being revealed as we are witnessing the rise of a duopoly. Google and Facebook. Today 90% of all advertising growth on digital is coming from these two companies.

The landscape

In 2007 the Apple iPhone was launched. Steve Jobs famous quote at the time was “Internet in your pocket“. He even predicted the future and made this bold statement. “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything“.

In those 10 years, it has both destroyed and launched billion dollar companies.

  • The street directory business – Google Maps app
  • The video store – Netflix app
  • The taxi industry – The Uber app
  • The old music industry – Spotify and Pandora apps with music streaming

The combination of high-speed wireless internet, social networks and the smartphone have led to a disruption of business as usual. And this has happened in just a decade. The revolution has really just started.

The rise of apps is disrupting business.

A tipping point

Data can be useful as they reveal the journey of an industry. So here are some major milestones worth pondering.

  • In 2014 we passed a tipping point when more people accessed the Internet through mobile apps than desktop computers for the very first time.
  • In 2015 Mobile ad spend surpassed desktop ad spend
  • In 2017, over 86% of our time is spent in apps on our mobile phone. Not on the open web.

These numbers on their own can be seen as maybe just interesting.

But this trend has some big implications for the future of Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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