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L. O.
Two simple letters that marked one of the biggest changes in human history.
In 1969, programmers were trying to type "login".
Charlie typed the L.
He typed the O.
He typed the G.
You get to G—whacko— the system crashed.
So the very first message on the internet ever was lo, as in lo and behold.
50 years later and half the world is now online.
But that half is primarily from the rich world
Which means that the other half quite obviously...
...will have to come from the poor world
How will the second half of humanity coming online change the internet...
...and how will the internet change them?
The really interesting place to look at is India
India’s internet penetration was pretty low...
...until very recently with the launch of a new mobile network...
...called Reliance Jio...
...with incredibly cheap phones and incredibly cheap data prices
Reliance Jio launched aggressively in 2016...
...offering subsidised handsets and free data to hook people in
India went from being a relatively expensive place to consume data...
...to being the cheapest in the world. Prices crashed by 94%
Newer users in the developing world are browsing the internet...
...in much the same way as people in the developed world
When people get online the first thing they do...
...is they chat with their friends...
...they watch sports, they watch movies, they watch music videos
They watch an extremely large amount of pornography
But this is where the similarities end
The internet was built on the assumptions...
...that many users speak English...
...are literate and are media-savvy
None of those things remain true...
...for the second half of the internet
You have a whole bunch of languages...
...that don’t enjoy very good support...
...in terms of web browsers or input
And you have a whole bunch of people who can’t actually read or write
There’s practically no usage...
...of desktop computers, laptop computers
It’s almost entirely on mobile phones...
...and these mobile phones tend not to be...
...the expensive, very powerful ones
They have limited amounts of storage
This is prompting big tech companies...
...to change the way their products work
They’re having to understand these new behaviours
They’re having to fundamentally rethink...
...how they supply their services
For much of the world that is now coming online...
...text is not the natural way to interact
It’s smaller apps that can do more...
...and that can be used with voice or video rather than text
Many tech giants have already begun...
...to establish themselves in emerging markets
Facebook has over 1.5bn users in developing countries...
...and the YouTube channel with the most subscribers...
...is a Bollywood studio and record label
Creating large user bases is one thing...
...making money from them is another
The prevailing assumption around making money on the internet...
...until this point has been a largely...
...American assumption of advertising
99% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising...
...as does 85% of Google’s
But many people in the developing world are poor
So users don’t have the same value to advertisers
Take Facebook’s last quarter of 2018
They make 12 times as much money per user...
...in North America than they do in Asia
And overall annual revenue from the developing world is much lower too
Google for instance, about 46%...
...of their revenues comes from the US alone...
...and only about 15% from Asia
That 15% includes rich countries like Australia and Japan
Take those away and the revenue from Asia would be even lower
If the traditional advertising model isn’t going to work...
...tech companies will have to think outside the box
What people will pay for is the opportunity to express themselves
Until the advent of smartphones really, a big money-spinner...
...for Indian mobile networks was something called...
...a caller-ringback tone
I would pick a song that I like very much...
...and if you were calling me you would hear it...
...and I pay a monthly fee for that to happen
Now think about exactly what this is
I am paying money...
...for a song I will never listen to, only so that...
...my friends who are calling me can hear it...
...because I want to express myself
So it’ll be lots of novel ideas like that...
...for very, very small amounts of money but we’re talking about...
...lots and lots of people doing these things
One thing is for sure...
...the internet’s second revolution will change people’s lives for the better
The ability of people around the world to...
...have a good time is becoming a little bit more equal
And that, while hard to pin down in economic data...
...is a net benefit to just the general well-being of humankind...
...which can be very easy to understate or to ignore...
...especially if you’re used to those things but has a really meaningful impact
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第二次網際網路革命!發展中國家的滾滾商機 (The internet's second revolution | The Economist)

110 分類 收藏
Estelle 發佈於 2019 年 9 月 11 日
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