Are you aware that we’re creating another Internet? It’s one that is mobile-centric rather than Web-centric, and it’s going to continue and become more important in the years to come.
The reason that a good part of the Web is being recreated right before our eyes is summed up in one word: mobile.
If you use a mobile Web browser on your smartphone and enter a traditional Website, the experience is less than positive. Most of the time, it’s just plain awful. That’s because normal Websites are not meant to be viewed on tiny screens using smartphones.
As a result, if a site has not been modified to be “mobile-friendly,” the user typically gets a poor experience. Developers of the popular Websites have already created-or are in the process of creating-mobile-friendly versions of their Websites that provide a better experience when accessed by someone using a smartphone.
It’s obvious that a small percentage of Websites get most of the traffic. This means that the developers of those sites have already spent the time and money to create a mobile version of those popular sites. Over time, more of the “long tail” of less regularly accessed Websites will get converted to be mobile-friendly. Recently, a few companies like BlueTrain Mobile have developed tools and automated processes to help companies create mobile-optimized Websites.
The creation of mobile-friendly sites goes beyond the simple management of small screens. The entire inventory of ads you see on smartphones is different from the ads on the traditional Web. This inventory of ads is sold separately by companies such as AdMob, MillennialMedia, iAd and Smaato. These businesses focus on selling ads or providing ads on mobile-specific Websites.
So, the next time you use your iPhone or Android or BlackBerry device to visit a popular Website, it’s more than likely the experience will be acceptable due to the site developers creating a mobile-friendly version for viewing on smartphones. You’ll also see advertisements that are different from the ads that are on the traditional Web page when viewed by a Mac or PC.
It doesn’t stop with the mobile versions of popular and most-visited Websites. It goes much further and will continue for many, many years until mobile-centric computing has become the center of the information universe.
If you doubt this conclusion, just take a look at what’s happening with mobile applications.
These applications have gone from zero to hundreds of thousands in just a couple of years and will be in the millions before too long. Why are so many mobile applications getting created? The answer is very simple-mobile applications provide a better experience for users, compared with what they see within a traditional Web browser. Application developers are able to manage the screen and processing better. It looks and feels better.
Users Will Spend Less Time on the Traditional Web in the Future
The user experience is better, so users are spending more time working with mobile applications on their smartphones and tablets than with the traditional desktop browser-based Web. From an advertising perspective, this means that the traditional Web isn’t getting as many eyeballs and potential customers.
Mobile users are viewing mobile application screens, which is creating another new world of “in-mobile apps.” It’s a world where users are spending more time viewing screens in mobile applications or the mobile Web and moving away from the traditional desktop browser-based Web.
It won’t be long before most users will be spending most of the time viewing mobile applications and the revenue from in-app mobile advertising will exceed the revenue generated from the mobile Web.
During the next 10 to 20 years, we’ll see a world I call “mobile-centric computing,” where people will have a network of different mobile devices that are all interconnected through the Internet.
Sure, the old Web will still be there-just like cash stayed around after the creation of credit cards. It will help with gigantic number crunching and content storage. However, in this new world of mobile-centric computing, information is accessed from servers but also created and shared on different mobile devices.
In this new world of mobile-centric computing, users will access and create information on laptops and Macs. Information will be shared across hundreds of millions of tablets and billions of smartphones. Users won’t spend much time on the traditional Web. Most of their time will be spent interacting with all the mobile devices in their lives.
Yes, the center of the information gravity is migrating toward mobile. And, it’s not going to stop with just creating the mobile Web and mobile applications. It’s going to keep going until mobile is the center of the entire information universe with spokes going out in all directions.
Mobile-centric computing. Remember that. You’ll be hearing more about it in the years to come.