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Gini Dietrich

The Web Is Dead! Long Live Smartphones!

By: Gini Dietrich | May 1, 2012 | 
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The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

The web is dead!

I guess all those business owners who’ve told me all these years that their customer doesn’t use the web were right. I really hate being wrong. It rarely happens.

Yet here we are. What are we going to do?

I discovered this disturbing news as I’ve been reading about the Facebook purchase of Instagram. You know, the $1 billion purchase they made of a company with only 12 employees and no revenue? Yeah, that one.

I’m scared to death there is going to be another bubble burst. I’m scared to death we didn’t learn our lesson just 12 years ago in the dot com era. So I’m reading everything I can to try to figure out what the heck is going on.

And, as it turns out, it’s not a bubble stretch. The web is just dead.

The web has been dead for nearly two years, when Wired called it so in August of 2010. I didn’t get the memo because I’ve been using it for the past two years. I guess this is one of the few times I haven’t stayed ahead of the trends.

In all seriousness, people are spending more time in mobile apps than they do online, according to the International Telecommunication Union. And, another thing that is interesting is this (according to Flurry):

Since 2007, more than 500 million iOS and Android smartphones and tablets have been activated.  By the end of 2012, we estimate the cumulative number of iOS and Android devices activated will surge past one billion.  According to IDC, more than 800 million PCs were sold between 1981 and 2000, making the rate of iOS and Android smart device adoption more than four times faster than that of personal computers.

The smartphone rate of adoption is four times faster than that of personal computers.

Which means people really are spending more time in apps than on the web. And, because of that and because Facebook doesn’t have a great mobile app, the Instagram purchase begins to make sense.

While I wouldn’t count the web out just yet, there are a few things you should be considering:

  • Is your website mobile-optimized?
  • Do you still have flash? If so, get rid of it!
  • Are you considering Siri with the content you produce? She gives search results through apps before the web.
  • Are you paying attention to apps such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and Belly?
  • Are you making it as easy as possible for your customers/clients to buy from you using their phones?

If you aren’t business ready for smartphones, the time is now.

P.S. I’m sorry if I made anyone worry yesterday. I got up to write and then decided, because I’ve been on the road so much, sleep was more important than a blog post. I went back to bed. But everything is fine!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

107 comments
jonbuscall
jonbuscall

Just come to Sweden, Gini, and sit on the subway. I think every person on the T-bana is either looking at an iphone, android or ipad. Mr Teens and his friends don't take pen and paper to class. They take notes on their iphones.  

seandoes
seandoes

I'm curious how many of these 500B activations are unique people? I'd bet people buy mobile devices more frequently than PCs. I'd love to see the numbers normed to account for device abandonment every two years as contract expire. 

dcabfab
dcabfab

@Tinu @ginidietrich Wait, WHAT? I just signed up for AOL and the Web is dead?? #movingatthespeedoflife

rachaelseda
rachaelseda

@skypulsemedia HAHA you're hilarious.

amazing_dw
amazing_dw

@JustInTheSouth times are changing.

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

I've read that one of the biggest problems of FB is that given that the great majority of users surf through the app they cannot yet monetize this traffic and it's their biggest concern. Well this is probably not such a big problem for someone who can pay that sum for Instagram. Right? :)

 

But the smartphone thing is a worldwide trend or just in USA?

rdopping
rdopping

I feel smarter on my PC, er....laptop......er, tablet.....ummm......smartphone. Sigh.

EylerWerve
EylerWerve

What? Uh, no. Smartphones are going to be using the Web. Same web. Different device. Native apps are in a much weaker position than a web experience that can travel cross platform: laptop, TV, ereader, phone. Same web. Different stylesheets. 

NancyD68
NancyD68

I am still cool even though I use the web from my home pc AND tweet from Twitter.com. That's right baby - I am the ultimate late adopter!

 

By the time I get an iPhone, AT&T will be giving them away for free with a two year contract!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@SaaSCMO I wonder if it'll get to the point that everyone does it because they have to, not because they want to?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@ericamallison Yes! Cover your keyboard!

ChrisQueso
ChrisQueso

I don't know about any of y'all but I can fit my trusty laptop in the front pouch of my overalls :)

Collectual
Collectual

I think you're right about the adoption of mobile influencing how Web site development and delivery.  But I don't think the Web is dead - maybe the browsing of the web on a home computer.  The shift may just represent people moving their browsing to a mobile device from a computer. I liken it to people who say they don't watch TV yet consume shows via hulu or netflix on their iPad, etc. They are still consuming a broadcast, it's just the delivery mechanism has changed.

 

Thanks for the review. Hope it's not a bubble.

rachaelseda
rachaelseda

To be honest I was a bit worried and then my whole day was thrown off! ;)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@GrizzardComm LOL! That's a heck of a paraphrase!

wagnerwrites
wagnerwrites

@fatpplstories Yes, it's going to be a problem!

Jonathan Eyler Werve
Jonathan Eyler Werve

 @seandoes You get it via polling. Pew does this. If I recall correctly...In the US, 78% have a computer+broadband in the home. ~30% of people have a smart* phone. *self reported, there's definition issues.

Tinu
Tinu

@dcabfab @ginidietrich lol

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth

@amazing_dw yes they are! I need to hear more about what that means for you, soon.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @Andrea H. | The Hypnotism Weekly I think the U.S. lags in this trend. Smartphones are a way of life in Asia, for instance, and in countries where electricity is scarce. I have a friend who served in Afghanistan and she says everyone there has a phone that they charge for the hour a day they're allowed electricity. 

SaaSCMO
SaaSCMO

@ginidietrich The time btwn "want to" and "have to" may be very short. People will be caught flat-footed.

GrizzardComm
GrizzardComm

@ginidietrich Heh ... and oh, so accurate.

HeatherTweedy
HeatherTweedy

 @jasonkonopinski Love responsive design for most websites.  As long as clients don't see it as a one-size-fits all solution.  Info heavy sites need a slimmed down mobile site that is also responsive.  Especially in areas that are still rocking 3G (or worse).  

 

amazing_dw
amazing_dw

@JustInTheSouth paper plates are never going to be a style

Tinu
Tinu

 @ginidietrich Yeah in Nigeria, everyone has a cell phone, and I've yet to meet a person who didn't at least have a Blackberry. Even my grandmother, who basically lives in an upscale village, has a Blackberry. Lots of folks with iPhones.

NancyD68
NancyD68

 @ginidietrich I am the only idiot at Starbucks without a device! It is kind of sad. I need a tissue....

amazing_dw
amazing_dw

@JustInTheSouth how a unicycle will never leave you relaxed.

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth

@amazing_dw So TRUE! Now lets get to work and write what we want.

amazing_dw
amazing_dw

@JustInTheSouth true, tomorrow is un-written today.

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth

@amazing_dw HA! Nope. Well not for a little while yet!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich  @HeatherTweedy Verizon has 4G here in Albany and only for Androids. IPhone is only 3G. But they have crappy coverage in Vermont lacking even 1G in most areas. I go about an hour without any service when I drive there or back.

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski

 @ginidietrich  @HeatherTweedy Hush, Gumby. ;)

 

This area just got a big 4G rollout - on Verizon. I'm on AT&T. Dagnabit.

 

Heather, I completely agree. I'll take it a step further and say that with the ubiquity of WordPress as the CMS for so many business websites, selecting a mobile-optimized theme isn't exactly rocket science. :) 

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