I just stumbled across a thing I wrote months ago at work, x-posting here for posterity:
I heard a segment recently on NPR’s Here And Now re: Facebook and Google together capturing 80-90% of online advertising. As so many web-based business models hinge on advertising (either directly or indirectly), this allows these two companies to “steer” the future of the web in so many ways.
The web I grew up on was about connecting to information (aka, content). Increasingly, today’s web is about connecting to people. Google and Facebook are coming at this intersection of content and people from opposite directions and at that intersection is the proverbial end of the rainbow, pot of gold.
I don’t have a full theory developed for this (yet), but I believe this centralization and consolidation, combined with increasingly algorithmic driven user experiences, reduces our online experience to normalized advertising units and pays no respect to the diversity of our offline/analog world. For me, the concept of an “open web” represents an alternative.