The Life and Death of the Web

The Wall Street Journal recently had a piece announcing the web was dead and replaced by apps (if you hit the paywall, you can get access by going through Google News—the irony is not lost on me…).

I was sort of bummed by the piece because we seem to be learning there’s a limit to the number of apps people will use. So what happens when you want to know something that’s not represented by an app? Is the Journal’s assumption that if there’s not an icon, people will do without information? And isn’t a web browser considered an app? And also, contrary to popular belief, not all Internet work takes place on mobile devices.

Luckily, Quartz stepped in and ran a great piece on how the web is doing just fine—often because apps bring users to the web. Gina Trapani had a very brief review of Firefox OS on The Flame and her takeaway was that it’s great because it’s entirely webapp-based, meaning all you need to render apps is a browser.

Pushing content into apps limits access. Not everyone has a phone. Not everyone has the same phone. I use the Twitter app all the time but if I didn’t have the app, I could still use the mobile site. Why create artificial silos when there’s already a fine structure—the browser—for rendering content across devices? Luckily, it looks like the Journal got this call wrong.