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The decline of the mobile web

1) Apps have a rich-get-richer dynamic that favors the status quo over new innovations. Popular apps get home screen placement, get used more, get ranked higher in app stores, make more money, can pay more for distribution, etc. The end state will probably be like cable TV – a few dominant channels/apps that sit on users’ home screens and everything else relegated to lower tiers or irrelevance.

It wasn’t too long ago when Mark Zuckerberg bet on the mobile web and ignored his own Facebook app. That trend has completely reversed: apps rule the mobile web and Facebook makes 50% of its revenue there. Mobile apps are the web.

The mobile browser will always be something secondary, at least outside your home screen apps.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of Discvr.blog and four books.