2014 may only feel like yesterday for many people, but in the fast-paced world of the web, there have been massive shifts over the past three years. Here are just some of the key changes that have occurred in this time and the impact that they have had on the internet.
The rate at which web access has increased globally between 2014 and 2017 is significant as well as being in keeping with anticipated increases projected in earlier years. There are almost 3.6 billion people able to get online today, compared with 2.9 billion three years ago.
The fact that millions of people in developing countries are being provided access thanks to the proliferation of affordable smartphones is also changing the way that sites are designed, with mobile optimisation becoming more important than ever.
Google has been a powerful force for decades, but since 2014 the rise of Facebook as an influencer of how web traffic is directed has been significant. Together, these two platforms now account for around 70 percent of all referrals, revealing the extent to which social media is now just as important as SEO for emerging sites.
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Another interesting trend to have emerged more prominently since 2014 is that major tech giants are increasingly turning to the example set by Apple in order to grow their brands and establish a closer connection with consumers.
Amazon has long produced its own range of physical devices, starting with the Kindle range of e-readers and more recently extended to include the likes of the Echo smart speaker. Google has followed suit, with its own home hub designed to further integrate its services into the everyday lives of users around the world.
Facebook even has its sights set on making more of an impact in the hardware realm, snapping up virtual reality firm Oculus and seeking to blend augmented reality technology with its apps and services.
VR has become an important asset for sites in its own right, with 360-degree interactive videos and various other immersive experiences made possible as hardware capabilities have caught up with developers’ ambitions.
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