Will Apps kill the Web?
Having spent most of my working life building websites, I was alarmed to hear rumours of the web's demise. Many are postulating that thanks to the rise of the App, the World Wide Web is reaching the end of its useful life.
I had hoped that at least one or two of the websites I'd helped to create would remain on-line, as my epitaph, long after I'd joined the big social network in the sky.
But web traffic is reportedly on the decrease as Internet access goes mobile, thanks to the Smartphone revolution. The web's problem is that you need a proper keyboard to use it and on a handheld device, an App is much easier to use.
Pundits are now also predicting a third dotcom type financial bubble which I'm going to christen 'AppDotCom', thanks to Facebook recently parting with $1 billion for the Instagram mobile App.
Most agree it was a ludicrous price for a tiny piece of software, but worth every penny to the owner of the world's most popular website, clearly worried about the future of the web.
Facebook has its own App, but most of its mobile users seem to prefer Instagram , for ease of use when it comes to sharing photos. Facebook, obviously learning from the previous technology titan, Microsoft, have adopted a policy of "if you can't beat them, buy them".
The fact is that if Facebook had been invented today, it would be an App not a website.
There is, however, an ideological problem with AppDotCom; it leaves Apple and Google in charge of the Internet. The only real place you can get Apps from is the Apple Store (for iPhone/iPad) and the Google Play Store (for Android devices).
Right now if you want to sell or even give away your "billion-dollar-app", you'll need the blessing of at least one of them.
AppDotCom may end up creating the virtual equivalent of the Twin Towers, ruling the Internet for good or for evil, if this is not indeed already the case with Google!
Chris MD of Social Media and online PR consultancy Friend Digital www.frienddigital.com , firstname.lastname@example.org, @ChrisTomlinson1