The next billion users are the future of the internet

In the late 1990s, I moved from Delhi to Stanford for a master’s degree in computer science. Getting off the plane in San Francisco, I was ecstatic about the amazing computing power, lightning-fast internet and easy access to knowledge available at an American university. Back home, most people across Asia could only get online at an internet café or over dial-up modems, and internet speeds weren’t great. Computing power was still a luxury.

Today more than 3 billion people, more than half of them in Asia, own smartphones—devices many times more powerful than those top-of-the-line workstations at Stanford I was so excited to use. But despite this huge shift, many of us in the tech industry often find ourselves stuck in a previous way of thinking, where we assume that “computing” is something that starts with the privileged few in places like Silicon Valley and trickles down slowly to everyone else.

This isn’t just an old idea, but one that has become completely wrong.

The future of the internet is in the hands of the next billion users—the latest generation of internet users to come online on smartphones in places like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria. As time goes on, the average internet user will be more like these “next billion users” than the first billion who started on PCs. That means we need to look not at Silicon Valley or London but to places like Sao Paulo, Bangalore, Shanghai, Jakarta and Lagos to truly understand where the internet is going.

The next billion users are already changing the internet in three key ways: a mobile-only mindset, an instinct for ubiquitous computing, and a demand for localized content.

First, let’s start with the mobile-only mindset. Most of the next billion users have never used a PC and may never use one. They don’t think of the internet as something you access with a mouse and a keyboard.

This article was sourced from Google Blog

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Tech News
Homie raises $4M to help London’s ‘Generation Rent’ find their next property

Another nascent proptech startup targeting ‘Generation Rent’ is London-based Homie, which might best be described as a concierge-style service that promises to save Londoner’s time, hassle and money when going in search of their next rental property. Today the company is disclosing that it has raised a further $4 million …

Tech News
Nokia 6 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage Variant Goes on Sale on Flipkart for the First Time Today

The 4GB RAM variant of the Nokia 6 will go on sale for the first time in India on Tuesday. The variant will be available exclusively via Flipkart with the first sale to be held at 12pm on February 20. The smartphone will be made available in the Matte Black …

Tech News
iOS 11.2.6, watchOS 4.2.3, tvOS 11.2.6, macOS 10.13.3 Supplement Update Fixes Telugu Character Bug

Apple has released iOS 11.2.6 for compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, tvOS 11.2.6 for Apple TV, watchOS 4.2.3 for Apple Watch, and macOS 10.13.3 supplement update for Mac devices. The new software versions are mainly designed to address the Telugu character bug that was crashing Apple devices, including …