Users are demanding web 2.0 applications
The mobile Web is following in the footsteps of the fixed-line Web by giving users access to increasingly rich and interactive online applications.
“Web 2.0 has arrived on the mobile Internet in a massive way,” says Chris Scoble, managing director of Nashua Mobile. “We are seeing increasing numbers of mobile Internet users count on their smartphones for creative, collaborative applications such as social networking, blogging and instant messaging.”
Web 2.0 is loosely defined as the next evolution of the World Wide Web, where online sites and services are built around core principles of interactivity, functionality, collaboration and user-centricity.
Web 2.0 technologies enable mobile users to create and upload new content, pictures and videos and interact with friends and contacts rather than simply viewing information. One example of a Web 2.0 technology used on the mobile web is the blog, resulting in the term moblog.
According to research firm World Wide Worx, 10% of South African mobile phone users are accessing the Internet with their devices. For now, basic personal information management (PIM) applications are the Internet tools most commonly used by South African cellular subscribers, but Web 2.0 apps will help to fuel the growth of the mobile Internet worldwide and in South Africa.
“The growing maturity of smartphone end-user interfaces, coupled with increasing speeds and lower costs for cellular data networks, has made it attractive for end-users to tap into Web 2.0 from their mobile phones,” says Scoble.
“Indeed, the mobile Internet world is a match made in even for the immediacy of the social networking space. It’s simple for a smartphone user to snap a photo at a social gathering using a cellphone camera, and then post it on Flickr or send a ‘tweet’ on Twitter to warn friends of a traffic jam he or she encountered on the way home.”