What shapes internet use today? .NL asked - and got surprising answers

Posted by Tom Valcanis on 13 July 2012

The company responsible for the .nl or Netherlands ccTLD SIDN recently commissioned a report on trends of internet use in the country, carried out by consultancy firm Heliview Research. The report was published last month. During the survey period, Heliview interviewed 2,800 consumers and 600 businesspeople. Its results disspel powerful myth that’s permeating the information technology and communications sector at the moment: that social media, with its focus on brevity and “shortURLs” is actually stimulating, not curbing, demand for websites and that means the domain names to find them.

The highlights of the report include:

  • Consumers do not see social media as replacing personal websites.
  • Social media stimulate internet use and thus indirectly boost the demand for .nl domain names.
  • Social media do not reduce the demand for campaign websites and similar; the demand for such sites is expected to increase.
  • Neither business users nor service providers expect corporate websites to be displaced by the rise of social media.
  • Apps are more likely to have a positive effect on the use of websites and therefore domain names than a negative one.
  • On the business market, the use of apps and social media is expected to lead to a general rise in the number of websites and domain names in use.
  • Migration to mobile devices has not yet significantly changed the way people reach websites, but users believe that their navigating habits will change substantially in the years ahead.
  • Service providers do not expect the value of a domain name to fall as a result of increasing mobile use.[1]

So we ran an informal poll on our Twitter – you can see all the responses and commentary below.

We gained a few insights; it would seem that despite the popularity of smartphones and tablets, computers (be they desktop or laptop) are used for more “important” tasks such as work, banking or making online purchases. Handheld devices are more suited for accessing information quickly and on the go. Though it may be a pain to type in long URLs in a phone or tablet (although voice recognition software is steadily improving in efficacy) some users – although not conclusively – still use the internet and hope to use it “the old fashioned way.”