The Future Of The Web; What Does It Look Like?
The internet has been around quite a while now, and you might think that the internet is the greatest invention ever (I know I do), however, in reality the internet is still in its infancy and there is a lot more to come from it for sure. In the past few years, the internet has evolved significantly. There are a lot of aspects to the web that simply didn’t exist just a few years ago and considering that the internet has been around for a relatively short period of time when you think about how long we’ve been on this planet, there is definitely more to come.
But what does the future of the web hold? Should we be concerned or not? Well, let’s look at the predictions.
#1 – More Video
Ok, this one wasn’t so hard to guess as I’m sure you’re aware of the huge online video explosion that’s out there at the moment. Since the YouTube website was first established, online video has become one of the biggest sources of internet traffic across the US and around the world. A lot of other online video sites have sprung up too including Vimeo, Dailymotion and more.
We predict that over the next few years internet video will continue to grow. Think about Gangnam Style, this is the first video to ever reach around 820 million views on YouTube and it is expected that within the next few months, it will surpass a billion. This is a crazy amount of video views so it is clear that people love online video.
#2 – Content Delivery
As the web gets more and more advanced, more and more content is being delivered by the web. Think about online TV services and even program download services, all of these things are growing. Content delivery started many years ago with things like Napster and iTunes and since then, more and more things are getting delivered by the web.
One of the things that holds the web back at the moment is the speed that a lot of the world faces. In the UK and even the US, internet speeds are pretty poor when compared to certain other countries but a lot of countries are now investing in a better infrastructure to ensure that the internet meets the demands of their citizens.
As this happens, more content will become available via the web and we expect that digital downloads will soon be the norm for a lot of things that we currently still buy on discs. For example, entire operating systems, HD movies, huge file transfers (1TB +). Eventually, all of this will be possible on the web and some of it actually already is.
#3 – More Personalized
Should we be worried about this? Well, perhaps, it just depends how far it goes. Personal privacy has always been an issue online but so long as it is possible to opt out of this personalisation, we don’t think there’s a problem. Custom content is a great thing as it ensures that you always view want you want to view rather than something irrelevant. A lot more factors will become personalised over the next few years however and the web will start personalising more than just the search results.
#4 – More Mobile Users
Since Smartphone’s and tablet computers become so popular, the surge in mobile internet users has been huge. If you look at the analytics for your web traffic, you are likely going to see that a significant amount of your visitors are actually using devices like the Apple iPhone and iPad. If this is the case, you need to make sure that you are customising your content for these users and ensuring that you have a mobile optimised site.
Over the next few years, more and more people are expected to start browsing the web using these devices as 4G internet speeds become the norm on mobile devices. More and more people are also buying Smartphone’s and tablet computers so it is highly likely that mobile internet usage will overtake home internet usage at some point in the future.
#5 – Other Social Networks
Right now, it’s all about Facebook and Twitter as Google Plus appears to be a bit of a flop at this stage but it won’t be this way forever. Remember when everyone used MySpace? What happened to that? Well, it lost millions of users to Facebook and other competitors basically and it is highly likely that at some point in the future, this will happen again.
Of course, it might not be in the near future, but the distant future in terms of the internet is not really that far away either. Google have already tried to make this happen with their Google Plus social network and Instagram almost took a huge share of the social networking market before it was purchased by Facebook.
The internet doesn’t stand still for long. As advancements in technology keep occurring and people around the world rely on this technology more, the internet will always change. It is an exciting time and it is also definitely a period of huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and forward-thinkers.