Google, Facebook and Amazon ate America. Now they are digesting.

Google, Facebook and Amazon have direct influence over 80%+ of internet traffic. They own it all, they’ve eaten and now they are digesting.

Google, Facebook and Amazon services had 60% of mobile traffic in 2015, growing to 70% by the end of 2016. The remaining 30% of traffic is shared among all other mobile apps and websites. Mobile devices are primarily used for accessing GOOG and FB networks.

The most popular web properties that don’t belong to the triumvirate are usually from the press. In the U.S. there are 6 media sites in the top 10 websites; in Brazil there are 6 media sites in the top 10; in UK it is 5 out 10.
The Media depends on GOOG, FB and Amazon for page views, since it’s the majority of their traffic.

Facebook is the social internet company. Facebook is using its increasing market power in ways that stifle innovation, undermine privacy, and divert readers and advertising revenue away from trustworthy sources of news and information.

Facebook’s role as a critical gatekeeper gives the corporation the ability to regulate communications across vast swaths of American society, and to serve as a self-appointed censor of the content of a large and growing portion of online communications.

Facebook uses an application known as Onavo that allows the company to observe a substantial number of internet users and their behavior, providing them with an detailed look at what users collectively do on their phones…and a remarkable level of visibility into consumer use of rival products and user interfaces. Facebook can then use this information to target fast-growing rivals with fatal copycats, and/or to attempt to buy out these competitors.

Google is the knowledge internet company. Google’s search traffic hasn’t improved, while Facebook’s has, so Google launched their Instant Articles alternative called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and started serving articles from Google servers instead of directing traffic to media sites.

Google sees no future in the simple Search market, and announced it has migrated “From Search to Suggest” and being an “AI first company”.

Google’s goal is to gather as much rich data as possible, and build AI to provide timely and personalized information to us, and not to have outside or unfriendly websites provide information into their platform. 

Google was once an index of the world’s online content, but the search engine business model is exhausted. The multi-second path from search query, to search results, to webpage, to information, is too long to provide an ideal user experience. Their goal is to cut the middlemen in that path. They have tried to cut out the results page with their “I’m feeling lucky” button, but without intelligent analysis they cannot reliably take shortcuts in that path. With AI, they believe they can shorten the path to just one step, “get information”, even without searching for it in the first place. That’s the purpose of Suggest.

The Suggest strategy is being currently deployed through Google Now, Google Assistant, Android notifications, and Google Home. None of these are part of the Web, that browser powered universe made of a all the world’s websites. For Google the internet is just the underlying transport layer for data from their cloud to end-user devices, but the Web itself is being bypassed.

Nothing will exist outside of the Google lock-in of its proprietary technologies such as Firebase and Google-dependent AMP installations as much as it advocates open PWAs. They dropped XMPP in Gtalk, and Gtalk itself was deprecated, favoring Google Hangouts with a proprietary protocol. Chrome Web Store is a walled garden like App Store. They shutdown Google Reader based on RSS, an open standard. Google Cloud TPU is proprietary hardware that only exists in their datacenters, supporting their open source framework TensorFlow.

And, once you are inside gMail your are forced into their creep, a closed algorithm that organizes your online and offline ‘all-Google’ life.

Amazon is the market leadership, e-commerce company

Amazon’s business still relies on traffic to their desktop web portal (accounting for 33% of sales), a large portion (25%) of their sales happen through mobile apps, not to mention Amazon Echo. Like Google Home, Amazon Echo bypasses the Web and uses the internet just for communication between cloud and end user.

In these new non-web contexts, tech giants have more authority over data traffic. They can even directly block each other, Google has cut support for YouTube traffic in Amazon Echo devices

Post script:

Soon there will be nothing between you and Facebook, Google and Amazon. The Web as you knew it has died.

beware the tech oligarchs in politics