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posted by cmn32480 on Friday March 18 2016, @06:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the like-AOL-in-the-good-old-days dept.

There's a a growing trend to close off publishing platforms by demanding a login in order to view the content. Which is a move away from an open web. In December 2015 Facebook launched its own in-app browser, which is basically a web-view that loads links you tap on using the Facebook app. It may provide convenience for some but the primary goal is to keep users inside the application longer. This opens up more advertising exposure and associated revenue. This poses a challenge to the open web because this overrides the user's default mobile browser keeps the eyeballs in a closed ecosystem. The feature Instant Articles for publishers is done such that it loads articles available nearly instantly in the app compared to a mobile browser. This opens up for monetizing viewing and privacy invasions by Facebook on users. The in-app browser lack decent privacy controls.

Facebook is trying to accomplish a closed version of the internet. The Free Basics initiative with Facebook as the gatekeeper offers users free access to select websites. This initiative made privacy advocates in India, who play an instrumental role in the makeup of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to vote on 2016-02-08 that all data pricing must be equal, and that companies cannot offer cheaper rates than others for certain content. The decision favours net neutrality and essentially bans Facebook's initiative in that country. The Indian TRAI ruling states that pricing must be content agnostic. Facebook has become a monolithic platform that tries to mimic existing services by offering video uploads (YouTube), money transfers (PayPal) etc. Facebook is expanding like a invasive species similar to the Borg from Star Trek trying to absorb everything that touches their sphere of interest.

In the future, could resistance be futile because you will miss out essential information?


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nuke on Friday March 18 2016, @10:17AM

    by Nuke (3162) on Friday March 18 2016, @10:17AM (#319927)

    they're just taking advantage of idiots that don't know and don't care

    Trouble is that the idiots are so numerous that they outnumber those with common sense, so the World becomes tailored to the idiots.

    I can see the web imploding into walled gardens whether the non-idiots (present company of course) like it or not. You wont be able to opt out, except maybe for some private sites created by those few enthusiasts still capable of writing raw html.

    Half the adverts you see these days (eg I have been looking at plumbing fittings) say "Get our free app!". It is a return to like the early days of Internet Banking where you had to run the bank's app; then in time you could bank with a general purpose browser; but we shall see a return to the special app because that way they have even more control and monitoring over you, and what you see.

    Expect to be able to see the Web only via Facebook, Disqus, MSN or Google, or else via a special app for each website you visit.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bitstream on Friday March 18 2016, @12:37PM

    by bitstream (6144) on Friday March 18 2016, @12:37PM (#319958) Journal

    This is perhaps the general lesson:

    Trouble is that the idiots are so numerous that they outnumber those with common sense, so the World becomes tailored to the idiots.

    Expect to be able to see the Web only via Facebook, Disqus, MSN or Google, or else via a special app for each website you visit.

    So the future will be locked phones with buggy software that is overloaded with apps to view the walled garden(s) where your bank and friends camp out. What a perverted future.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:22AM (#320234)

      So the future will be locked phones with buggy software that is overloaded with apps to view the walled garden(s)...

      Hate to break it to you but, with Verizon, the future is now. Just thought you should know.

      • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:30AM

        by bitstream (6144) on Saturday March 19 2016, @12:30AM (#320236) Journal

        Let's hope customers (cattle) jump ship soon.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @04:06AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19 2016, @04:06AM (#320293)

          Right, that will work. [dailymail.co.uk]

  • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Friday March 18 2016, @01:38PM

    by JeanCroix (573) on Friday March 18 2016, @01:38PM (#319973)

    ...those with common sense... ...Half the adverts you see these days (eg I have been looking at plumbing fittings) say "Get our free app!"

    You see ads? I'd have thought the common sense option these days would be running ad-blocking software/add-ons of some sort. I haven't seen ads online for years, even on Facebook.

    • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Friday March 18 2016, @07:35PM

      by Nuke (3162) on Friday March 18 2016, @07:35PM (#320138)

      You see ads? I'd have thought the common sense option these days would be running ad-blocking software

      I'm not talking about ads in banners and pop-ups, but ads I go looking for when I want to buy something. I don't think we have any problem with a car or camera maker having a website which displays their offerings, nor for that matter the local plumber and used car dealer.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday March 18 2016, @04:36PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday March 18 2016, @04:36PM (#320032) Journal

    These things come in waves.

    I fully expect, in five years time when the most of the web is divided into tiny walled gardens, some bright spark to "invent" interoperability and open web and so on. It will get a new name, and PHBs everyone everywhere will clamour to overpay people to implement the brand new thing that was standard decades before.