The fear of complexity is ruining the web

We officially operate in a post-fact duopoly world wide web. The algorithms of two companies control everything we read and buy. I say buy, because the same two companies are the ones effectively controlling global advertising.

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We’ve also all heard the phrase “80% of the world’s internet users spend most of their time on only 5 apps”. Do you want to guess who owns these apps?

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Hidden behind these facts is an insidious realisation that we have chosen the easy way out.

Facebook and Google are NOT the only places people spend their time online. Nor are their apps the only apps people use. It’s what most people do most of the time. Which begs the realisation that some people also do some other things some of the times. And if we were paying attention we’d also understand that with over 3.5 billion people accessing the www on a regular basis, the “some” in “some people” and “some time” is actually not irrelevant.

But we choose to focus on simple ways out. Business leads could be coming out of email and chat apps and reddit and micro influencers and affiliates and well-targeted display, but it’s easier to have excells with only two headers: facebook/ instagram and google/youtube.

It’s also easier to not focus on optimising anything outside your ads on these platforms because, of course, most people spend most time there. So why bother with anything else, like your own website, your newsletters, your blogs, etc.

I hope 2017 is the year when we realise that we need to embrace the complexity of the web if we want to be really good at it. We need to look at ALL the places and ALL the time, as opposed to most. Not only will this create a more balanced digital ecosystem but it would also allow all of us to focus on the user as opposed to just the most common denominator.

Digital Strategist. The Internet will save the world (pending verification). Views expressed here are my own/should not be construed as coming from my employer.

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