The Evolution of the Web
“The Internet and its underlying technology are not static phenomena, but instead continue to change over time.” E-Commerce 2016. Perhaps the biggest societal change is the internet’s ubiquity and ambiance, as the world is filling with new kinds of media in new formats and context. Due to the evolution of digital technology and the internet, an influx of information is being created as “Every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization until 2003” Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
The current state of the internet is often categorized and described as Web 2.0. The major difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is the content creators. Unlike Web 1.0, Web 2.0 is all inclusive, and is fueled by connectivity, collaboration, and communication.
Web 2.0 is social and provides greater collaboration, as users have been given control and power and are no longer sidelined spectators in the world wide web. Anyone who has access to the internet and a web browser not only has the ability to be a creator in Web 2.0, but also the ability to communicate their message to whomever they wish to reach. Dialogue included.
As the internet and its technology continues to evolve, a new term has been coined and made popular with inventions such as smart watches, wearable devices, and augmented/tagged physical locations – that term is called “The Internet of Things”. For brands, the evolution from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now including the rapid emergence of the “Internet of Things” brings new opportunities and challenges.
“Web 2.0 applications and services are “social” in nature because they support communication among individuals within groups or social networks.” E-Commerce 216. The applications of Web 2.0 include but aren’t limited to: online social networks, blogs, podcast, video, and other online communities. For brands and marketers, Web 2.0 offers new opportunities to engage and interact with consumers.
The emergence of social networks is great tool to be taken advantage of. Social networks are a platform for brands to spread their message, engage with consumers, and to build a loyal community. It is important for marketers to embrace the conversations that their consumers want to have with them – as humans are social in nature.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things includes innovative technology, such as wearable devices, along with sensors and embedded physical objects. No longer is the internet just limited to devices and applications. The future of the internet is THINGS, as consumers will be literally connected with the clothing that they wear, and the smart devices/objects that surround them.
Wearables have the opportunity to be utilized in fields such as “healthcare, fitness, military, gaming and many other areas” E-Commerce 2016. But most importantly, wearables offer the ability to track consumers and collect real-time data.
Today’s consumers are “always-on as they live connected lives, which means brands must offer connected services and are doing so with “wearables. An example is Apple and the Apple Watch.
It is estimated that the average consumer today owns less than 1 wearable, that number is expected to grow to 8+ by 2020. There is also a possibility that there will be one wearable that does it all, making mobile and other technology obsolete – one device, wrist watch, ring that will unlock your car, make purchases, access concerts with, track your fitness, make calls, and listen to music with.