Just where is the Internet heading?
n a new and groundbreaking report search analyst Pippa Jaffray has
attempted to untangle the web of confusion that surrounds the future of
the Internet as a mass medium. Here are the main points raised:
• The user revolution The historically passive consumer is changing
rapidly, not only becoming more confident about purchase decisions but
also increasingly taking control over the consumption of information.
• ‘Communitainment’ The internet has increasingly become the medium for
community, communication and entertainment – three areas that have
collided and are now impacting on each other’s growth.
• Media fragmentation The proliferation of online and offline media
outlets has resulted in a decrease in television audiences and a
somewhat fragmented media landscape. More importantly, the quality of
time people spend on TV has decreased with multitasking and
simultaneous use of other types of media, most notably usage of the
web, while watching TV.
• The golden search Search is the second most used application of the
web and search is now a $15.8 billion industry, forecast to grow to
$44.5 billion within the next 5 years!
‘When Tim Berners Lee first opened up the world wide web to
public usage he envisaged that it would become a user-generated medium.
After a decade this is exactly what’s happening. Online businesses need
to have a clear strategy on how to capitalise on the user revolution
and not be threatened by it’.