Though web applications (or mashups) received extensive attention by technologist for quite a long time, it is surprising to find that it has fast reached the end consumer and has become a known habit.
A recent survey, conducted by Rubicon Consulting, showed that more than a third of US home computer users already use at least one web application on a regular basis (see graph 1). Students were found to be fast adopters as more than 50% are using web applications regularly (see graph 2).
This fast growing trend is a wonderful example of the extent of the sharing/web 2.0 phenomenon. Once internet users are ready to overcome technical barriers, and at the same time applications are user-friendly and easy to install– applications can easily become public. Following on the activities of users of social networks as Facebook or MySpace, I believe that applications usage will not be limited only to mail browsers (see graph 3), but will fast broaden its scope to basic technical replacements (see Firefox with penetration rate of 27% in Europe) and to a wide range of social oriented applications.
Survey – Key findings:
- Most popular web applications: Among people who use web apps, the most popular usage is sending and receiving e-mail through a browser-based client (90%). Other common applications reported are games (52%), music (36%), photo management and editing (30%), security solutions (27%), video applications (20%) and blogging applications (17%) – (see graph 3).
- Security burrier: Security fears limit growth of web applications (38% of non users reported being worried for security reason)
Survey – Methodology
More than 2,000 US adults who have personal computers at home were surveyed in summer of 2007.
Graph 1: Adoption and awareness of web applications
Graph 2: Student adoption of web apps
Graph 3: Leading web application categories