I’m an old-timer. I used the Internet (e.g. Archie, WAIS, Gopher) before browsers. My first experience with a browser was on “Lynx,” a text-based browser that I ran on my Unix workstation.
In 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign released Mosaic, the first browser to support the rendering of images. Mosaic would later become Netscape Navigator.
Back then, my entire office (not just a single modem) was connected to the Internet at 56 Kbps. If someone visited a web page with a large image, we’d all go out to lunch, then return to see if the image loaded.
My, how things have changed.
The Rise of Mobile
Once upon a time, we surfed the web on a desktop or laptop, while stationary. These days, we consume content wherever we are, on the numerous mobile devices we carry or wear. Mobile brings a constantly-connected mindset, with information (and services!) available at our fingertips.
With that mindset comes high expectations: 53% of mobile users say they’ll leave a page if the load time is more than 3 seconds, according to DoubleClick by Google. That’s why Facebook and Google launched Instant Articles and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), respectively: to give their users fast-loading experiences from mobile devices.
According to Facebook, Instant Articles load “10X faster than standard mobile web articles.” Publishers indicate that readers who start on an AMP page spend 10% more time compared to readers who land on non-AMP mobile pages.
The Rise of Digital Assistants and Voice Search
Mobile is driving changes in the way we consume content an interact with brands, from voice search to chatbots, from digital assistants to Internet of Things (IoT). According to research from Tractica, active users of virtual digital assistants are forecasted to grow from 390 million (in 2015) to 1.8 billion by the end of 2021.
Digital assistants are driving an increase in voice searches. In 2016, Google announced that 20% of mobile queries are coming from voice searches. Hey Alexa, are you causing this?
Infographic on Our Internet-Connected Future
DNN Software, a Web CMS vendor, recently created an infographic. Titled “How We Consume Content: Mobile, Digital Assistants, Voice Search and More,” the infographic looks at new technology that’s changing how content reaches digital consumers.