It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the only way to access the internet was through a computer.
Due to how quickly smartphones have evolved over the last decade or so, more people are turning to their handheld devices as a way of accessing the internet instead of their computers. That growth has increased so much that in 2015, Forbes declared it the year of the mobile web. Fast forward to late 2016, when mobile web browsing surpassed desktop browsing for the first time in history.
While global mobile data traffic is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 47 percent between 2016 and 2021, here the Investing News Network (INN) breaks down a few basic mobile web investing facts to consider before diving into the space.
Mobile web investing: what is the mobile web?
In simple terms, the answer is quite easy. The mobile web–dubbed the Web 3.0– relates to “browser-based” internet services that are accessed via our handheld devices–keep in mind, however, that this does not include accessing the web via tablets.
Therefore, if you’ve ever accessed a web browser, such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), logged onto the Facebook app (NASDAQ:FB), checked your email, done online banking, used a streaming service like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) on your device, or even played game on your smartphone (to name a few things out of many), then you’re certainly familiar with the mobile web to an extent.
As PC Magazine defines it, the mobile web started out as a means of “accessing the website designed for the small screens of smartphones.” However, just like the evolution of technology, that definition has also expanded. PC Magazine further defines the mobile web–which is also the “mobile internet” to encompass all apps that are downloaded via a web server. Once installed, many apps still require accessing web servers for updates and other data, as required.
In summary, the mobile web encompasses a wide range of uses that are no longer restricted to simply surfing the internet by way of a handheld device.
Mobile web investing: market growth
To recap the above, 2015 was labeled the year of the mobile web by Forbes, and for the first time ever mobile web browsing took over desktop browsing in 2016. As such, it goes without saying that the mobile web industry is only going to continue growing from here on out.
More specifically, Zenith Media projects that mobile devices will be responsible for roughly 75 percent of global internet use in 2017, which is a massive increase over the last several years. In 2012, Zenith Media states that the mobile web accounted for only 40 percent of global internet use; by 2018, Zenith projects that number to climb to 79 percent.
Mobile web investing: how to invest
Lastly, you’re probably wondering how to invest in this space, and how mobile web investing can strengthen your portfolio. Below, INN looks at options that are easy and accessible for all types of investors.
- ETFs: like many other sectors and industries, ETFs are an attractive option for those who are interested in a commodity as a whole, rather than one specific company. According to ETFdb.com, there are a select few overall internet-based ETFs, which include the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (BMV:FDN); KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (NASDAQ:KWEB); PowerShares NASDAQ Internet Portfolio ETF (NASDAQ:PNQI); and Emerging Markets Internet & eCommerce ETF (NYSEARCA:EMQQ). For those looking for a more specific mobile web ETF, there is also the the PureFunds Video Game Tech ETF (ARCA: GAMR), which is the first one of its kind.
- Stocks: Of course, for those who are more interested in going all-in on a company, investing in stocks is generally the way to go. When it comes to the mobile web, there is a wide variety of stocks to choose from: from investing in apps, to video games, and social media, there is certainly no shortage of stocks for investors to choose from.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.