DEAD OR ALIVE: The World Wide Web

by Mike Dickman

Is the Web Dead?

I just finished reading an article in WIRED magazine which really got me thinking: Is The Web Dead? To get a better understanding of this position, think about how you use the Internet each day. You get up in the morning, log in to Facebook, check your wall, check Twitter and see if you have any more followers, and log into Pandora so you can stream your favorite music all day at work. You’ve been all over the Internet, but you have yet to hit the Web.

Today’s Internet visitors are spending most of their time on Apps such as Facebook or Twitter. Facebook has now even surpassed Google in the amount of visits and duration of visits. YouTube is the largest search engine on the Internet and you’re reading this article on a Blog, on the Internet and off the Web.

With the growth of social sites, the Web is losing steam and lots of traffic. And, with the likes of Starbucks and Coca Cola gaining more than 90,000 new Facebook Fans PER DAY, it would seem inevitable that the reign of the Web, could be dead.

The Web is just one of many applications that exist on the Internet, which uses IP and TCP protocols to move packets around. The revolution is the architecture, not the specific applications, which is built on top of it. Today, the content you see in your browser (largely HTML data delivered via the HTTP protocol on port 80) accounts for less than 25% of the traffic on the Internet – and that is shrinking. The applications that account for more of the Internet’s traffic include peer-to-peer file transfers, email, corporate VPNs, the machine-to-machine communications of APIs, Skype calls, online games – including Xbox Live, iTunes, VOIP phones, Netflix movie streaming and more.

In April, I re-posting an article released by Morgan Stanley which stated that the number of users accessing the Internet from mobile devices will soon surpass the number of those accessing from PCs. This will only accelerate the rate at which the Web is left behind as more applications, which will make web browsing from a mobile device easier, are accessed by these users. For the sake of an optimized “web” experience, users will forgo their general purpose browsers.

So, as the Internet moves from our desks to our pockets and our view history confirms that we are an application minded social society, where do you see the Web is headed and do you believe THE WEB IS DEAD?

2 thoughts on “DEAD OR ALIVE: The World Wide Web

  1. You left out the ability to run a URL as an application in both Chrome (including Android) and Safari. Virtually any website can be run as a desktop app. Ten years from now, will the kids be asking what the parents did ten years ago: “What’s a URL?”

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