As smartphones bring millions more users online across the globe, Google predicted their mobile-only perspective will shape the future of the internet.
While the first billion internet users got started in a PC-based environment, Caesar Sengupta, VP of Google’s Next Billion Users team, noted the next wave of users to come online will do so through their smartphones. In a blog post, he said those users will have higher expectations for what features their connected experiences should include.
“A computer is a smartphone, and it also doubles up as a television, a wallet, a classroom, and a portal for government services,” Sengupta said, adding: “All successful global apps in the future will need to speak the universal design language of people who grew up on mobile phones rather than PCs.”
Sengupta also said the rise of smartphones and connectivity in markets including India, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria will force a change in the language spoken on the web. While an estimated 50 per cent of all internet content is in English, non English-speaking regions are increasingly gaining share in the global smartphone market. China remains the world’s top smartphone market based on Canalys figures and IDC reported India was the fastest growing among the top 20 smartphone markets globally in 2017.
Google believes the bias toward English on the internet will change as demand for localised content increases. Sengupta highlighted video as a key driver in this shift: “anyone can turn on a camera, share stories in their own tongue, and find huge audiences online”.
Sengupta’s video prediction is in line with other estimates of an increased appetite for mobile video in the future. By 2023, Ericsson forecast 75 per cent of all mobile data traffic will be used for video.