Wired App vs Web

While reading the UK paper version of Wired this weekend, I came across an article "The Web Is Dead, Long Live the Internet" , by Chris Anderson, that was also a cover feature in the US version of the magazine.

The premise is that the rise of the iPhone ‘app’ model of mobile computing is causing us to use apps (also on the desktop) rather than the web. The argument is that these apps are becoming more popular because they work better than a web browser and provide an easier way for companies creating them to make money.

I found this article interesting because the ‘App’ model of computing is coming from mobile. Also, this impinges on the (old and tired) app vs web argument… but bear with me as Wired is also applying this to the desktop and even suggesting "the notion of the Web as the ultimate marketplace for digital delivery is now in doubt".

The article in Wired is based on statistics from Cisco that show the changing proportion of total (US) Internet traffic over time…


However, I find this chart misleading. It shows the proportion of total Internet traffic as though the total has stayed the same over time. The increase in takeup and speed of broadband has actually caused total data use to increase substantially over time.

While not exact, the chart should look more like this…


I suspect Web traffic isn’t decreasing that much if at all. Yes, there’s more use of video but that’s only due to more and better broadband connections. Video and multi-media based apps are (obviously) data hungry and will squeeze out the (more text based) web on charts that show data usage.

Yes, there is an app’s culture but I think the revolution isn’t as large as Wired is reporting. I continue to think that apps and the web will continue to co-exist, both with substantial usage. As this week’s visit to MoMo London showed, a significant proportion of companies are still using the (mobile) web because it most easily allows cross (and future) device access at the lowest cost to them.