The Future Of The Internet

Published Date
01 - Jun - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Jun - 2007
The Future Of  The Internet
The Internet has caught the fancy of the Indian population. It is the latest addition to the media offerings that is making deep inroads into our everyday lives. In its own unique way, it is changing the modes of service delivery, knowledge sharing, and even how we communicate on a day-to-day basis.

What will keep this ceaseless demand for more information, better networking, audio and video sharing satisfied? Innovation. This is the key driver that keeps companies that create products and services for the Internet in a state of high action. Screens will go smaller, and yet we will expect the highest resolution and depth of information available.

User generated content (UGC) is very big today and growing by the day. Almost everything we do on the Web constitutes UGC. Take blogs, instant messengers, photos, video-everyone has a point of view and an opinion to share on the Net! And this is only going to increase. We will have more conversations on the Net and will rely on our networks and communities for opinions and advice. What's even more exciting is that in India, we will be interacting on the Net more and more in the language of our choice!

As user engagement grows with it, the Internet will grow faster than all other media. An interesting aspect of the future of the Internet in India is that an increasing number of users will emerge from the smaller towns. Both broadband availability and increasing mobile penetration will rapidly expand the Internet user base of the future. We will also see increasing Internet usage among the less affluent sections of society, which will be due to the combined efforts of Internet stakeholders.

The Internet has been in a state of tremendous high action in the last 12 to 18 months, with new companies emerging and alliances and mergers being announced. Every major player wants a piece of the action in India as we grow to become one of the largest Internet audiences in the world.

In order to succeed in such a fluid scenario, Internet companies will have to concentrate on developing stable and scalable platforms to keep pace with this rapidly growing user base. Innovative algorithms that are intuitive and work better will ensure popularity and increased market share.

At Yahoo!, we have already recognised India as the leader in the emerging markets, and as we look to the future, we see new and innovative applications being developed to engage and entertain our online audience. Our flagship offerings like mail, IM, and chat will continue to dominate the first-time Internet user, and we will look at scaling and providing new features for these services on an ongoing basis.

George Zacharias is managing director, Yahoo! India, which he joined in February 2006. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of Sify Limited, where he had been for about six years. He played a key role in turning around that company, achieving profitability in many of its businesses.

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