Apps Are Killing the Web

Christopher Mims: What we know as the 'web' is doomed
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2014 1:18 PM CST
Apps Are Killing the Web
This file photo shows the WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on an iPhone in New York.   (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)

It might soon be time to pay last respects to what we know as "the web," writes Christopher Mims at the Wall Street Journal. It's "dying," he writes, and the killer is easy to find: Just look at your smartphone and count the apps. These days, people are spending more and more time within apps—or within the "walled gardens" of app stores controlled by gatekeepers such as Apple—and less time on actual websites. The shift looks to be unstoppable, and the consequences are profound.

"Everything about apps feels like a win for users—they are faster and easier to use than what came before," writes Mims. "But underneath all that convenience is something sinister: the end of the very openness that allowed Internet companies to grow into some of the most powerful or important companies of the 21st century." Mims makes the case that innovation will suffer and that someday the web itself could be "nothing but a curiosity, a relic haunted by hobbyists." Click for his full column. (Read more Internet stories.)

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