The internet has come a long way in a short space of time. It is easy to forget the internet did not exist before 1989! Seven years later, we had the first cell phone with internet access.
Now we are at an age where people have the power of entire computers in the palm of their hand. But what is different about the internet now compared to a decade ago?
The Fall of MySpace and Internet Explorer
It was difficult to use the internet around a decade ago and not come across either MySpace or Internet Explorer.
Most people used Internet Explorer to browse the web on their desktops and laptops. MySpace was the dominant social media platform, with Facebook still gaining traction. Twitter was barely noticeable at that point.
iPhone Arrives and Surpasses Blackberry
The concept of accessing the internet on a mobile device has been around for many years. Internet speeds were a lot slower, which meant that mobile devices were restricted to basic versions of most websites.
A decade ago, Blackberry was the most popular smartphone brand, given its unique combination of a high quality screen and a physical keyboard. But the iPhone came out in 2007 and changed all that.
It took a few years, but Apple managed to surpass Blackberry as the most popular smartphone brand in the world. Now Blackberry is barely a footnote, even though around 40 percent of Americans in 2007 said they would struggle to give up their Blackberries!
At a Glance Content Emerges
Around 2008 and 2009, an interesting change took place for the internet. Whether it was due to the financial recession or a natural progression of so much content, people began to go online for short bursts of information.
Say a person wanted to learn about the news of the day, the state of the stock markets or information about a TV show – they would go online.
Instead of getting immersed in more detailed content, people were focusing on “at a glance” content. Site designers began to notice that if a website had too much information that hardly ever changed, it was off putting. People wanted new information all the time, but they wanted it in smaller quantities!
Cloud Computing and Web Apps
In the past five years, the internet has come into the age of cloud computing. While infrastructure and software services through the cloud were used by businesses in the past, they were rarely mainstream.
Thanks to numerous major companies, such as Apple, pushing cloud storage, the general public began to take notice. People began to see the value of saving their documents, photos and other content on the cloud.
Around the same time, web apps emerged as a viable alternative to software that must be downloaded onto devices. The purpose of a web app is to allow the user a high level of functionality, without the need for any installation. For instance, it is now possible to create and edit documents, maintain spreadsheets, edit photos and even edit videos through a web browser.
The internet has transformed over the past decade. Everything from the most popular social media sites to web browsers to the devices used to access the internet has changed so much since the mid-2000s!