This article may or may not be pay-walled, depending on how you arrive at it. It is an exploration of the shift to apps.
The history of computing is companies trying to use their market power to shut out rivals, even when it’s bad for innovation and the consumer….That doesn’t mean the Web will disappear. Facebook and Google still rely on it to furnish a stream of content that can be accessed from within their apps. But even the Web of documents and news items could go away. Facebook has announced plans to host publishers’ work within Facebook itself, leaving the Web nothing but a curiosity, a relic haunted by hobbyists.
This is something I was getting at with my post yesterday: that advertising remains one of the Web’s unique selling points. It is much more effective as an advertising platform than mobile apps are. At the moment, the Internet giants extract an enormous amount of value from the content on the Web, using it to drive engagement with their services. The Web has very low barriers to entry, but economic sustainability is difficult and the only proven revenue model appears to be advertising at scale. The model needs liberating.
(Note: The source of this article, the Wall Street Journal, may appear to refute that, (given it has a paywall), but I believe that their model is essentially freemium and it isn’t clear to me what revenues they derive from subscription customers.)