The Future of the Internet

It started most visibly with Siri.  Now, according to TechCrunch, Uber is participating.  It is now possible to summon an Uber ride without ever opening the Uber app itself, but rather accessing it from other applications using Uber’s Request application program interface (API).  This model of service is an example of the “programmable web.”  It is also most likely the future of the internet.

This goes far beyond referral links.  This is a step in the direction of a massive, overall collaboration and interoperability; the online version of a television show going into syndication where it is no longer confined to a single channel.

Yes, this requires relinquishing some control to the users, which can feel risky.  But the advantages could outweigh that risk.  Think about it: now, Uber is much closer at hand; a user does not even have to switch apps to access it.  It is accessible across devices, appliances, and spaces, so the easier it is to get to, the more likely we are to use it.

The potential for this next generation internet is limitless.  It will cease to matter where users start and where they end.  Applications and services will no longer be islands unto themselves, but part of a larger ecosystem of collaborative, integrated platforms.  This will also improve business development, because businesses will have a further reach than what was possible before and will no longer have to try to predict use patterns when developing their online presence.

How businesses become known will also change.  The focus will shift from discovery models of internet marketing (like search engine optimization and more traditional advertising) to a consumption-based model.  In other words, it will be less about users being able to find your name and more about what you provide for them and how well and easily you can provide it.  In this manner, simply participating in this inter-operational online ecosystem, being easily accessible, and providing satisfactory service, can get your business up and running.

This could get interesting.

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