A paper announcement pointed to a veteran product in the Internet industry: the browser.
On the evening of October 26 , the State Cyberspace Administration of China announced that it would carry out rectification actions on mobile browsers, focusing on content such as "title party" articles, vulgar graphics and videos, and rumors.
This is also the first time in recent years that mobile browser apps have received such severe warnings from the Office of the Cyberspace Administration of China. The scope of coverage is beyond the previous.
Judging from the list, the four major Android manufacturers, Huawei, Xiaomi, vivo, and OPPO, have their own browsers on the list. Taking into account their respective market shares, this means that the browser rectification will affect 80% of the country. Around mobile phone users.
In addition, third-party browsers with a large number of users, such as UC, QQ, 360 and Sogou, were also "named" and included in the first batch of rectifications.
▲ Picture from: The Conversation
Many users have long been dissatisfied with mobile browsers and have been complaining for a long time. In addition to the content chaos mentioned by the Office of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the complicated built-in functions of the browser and the uncontrolled pop-up push are also annoying.
But how do these browsers in the list work? Is it really that bad? In the past two days, we have also found a mobile phone of the corresponding brand and actually experienced the functions of several browsers. The following are our findings.
Every browser wants to put a headline today
Problems with mobile browsers will actually be noticed after you click on them.
We opened 8 mobile browsers, Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, vivo, UC, Sogou, QQ, and 360 one by one. Their first screens, without exception, are presented as information streams, and they have fallen all the way down without bottoming out.
▲ Eight browsers, stupidly confused
If you can't see the search box at the top, you might not think that this is a browser application.
But this is indeed the status quo.
In fact, the next day after the rectification notice on the 26th was issued, these browsers have already issued the "Self-Inspection and Rectification Announcement" at the top of the information flow as required.
▲ On the second day after the rectification announcement was issued, some of the browsers in the list have replaced the content of the information stream, and only reproduced the content of those media with news editing rights
At the same time, some browsers have also replaced the content of the information stream, and only select media sources with news editing rights, reducing the frequency of lace news, celebrity gossip, and self-media news, but the information stream still retains advertisements .
▲ A browser that was not included in the first rectification list is still full of headline party content
But what did the information flow of these browsers look like? We found a mobile phone product that was not within the scope of this rectification, and clicked on its own browser. The content is basically from the media.
Swipe down a few more, and you will see the familiar small video of the side ball again. In terms of quality, it is really not flattering.
This is also the original style of most browsers: all kinds of graphic information from unknown self-media, supplemented by exaggerated titles, and mixed with short videos, advertising banner pages, and we always like to ridicule "UC shock Body" can be seen everywhere in these information streams.
▲ Whether it is a built-in browser or a third-party browser, once the push is turned on, the frequency of daily news push is very high
The push frequency of these browsers is also very high. As long as you don’t turn off push notifications, even if your phone has no browser on, and you sit for a while, all kinds of news will be piled up on the notification bar, but it’s not the kind of important national event.
We also asked some friends around us about the push of the browser. Most people just turned off the notification permission of the built-in browser just because they don't want to be tossed by these pushes.
The information flow page is just one of the functions provided by the current mobile browser. Most people complain about the "bloated" and "cluttered" browsers because they also do a lot of services that should not be required by browsers.
▲ All eight browsers integrate functions such as videos, novels and games, and some modules are directly placed in the bottom column
Videos, novels, and online games have become the "standard configuration" of current browser applications. In order to emphasize the existence of these functions, some browsers simply put them directly on the bottom switch page.
▲The forced opening of the "notification bar tool" is a more rogue behavior than advertising push
We have also encountered a more blatant approach: There are two third-party browsers, both of which have the "Notification Bar Tool" function enabled by default. In fact, the search bar or shortcut function entry is displayed on your notification bar.
If you want to remove it, you can only turn it off manually.
▲ The functions of mobile browsers have been very expanded, and there seems to be no service that it cannot do
Looking at it this way, most mainstream mobile browsers in China are no longer a single browser mode. News, videos, novels, games, etc. are all available, and you can hardly even find another application type on the market that can be comparable to browsers in terms of functionality.
In contrast, the browser's original web browsing and search are ignored by manufacturers and gradually become an accessory function. You can hardly say that this is a good change.
I want to do everything, but I don’t know how to do anything; but if I don’t do it, the frequency and stickiness of the browser cannot be increased.
This may be the dilemma that every browser application is facing in the era of mobile Internet.
The browser has "anxiety", so it wants to install everything in it
Some people will definitely wonder, the same are all browsers, why are there no such clutter in applications like Chrome and Safari?
This is determined by different business models and product positioning. For Google and Apple, browsers do not exist in isolation, but are just a tool under their own operating systems. The browser itself has no profit pressure, so you only need to do what the browser should do.
What's more, these two browsers also have advantages that similar applications do not have: Safari has iOS and Mac systems behind it, while Chrome has Android. Just pre-installed on the phone, there are already third-party browsers that are difficult to match. The advantages.
▲ Globally, the mainstream browser is still the only one in Chrome, and the proportion of Safari is largely brought by the iPhone
But third-party browsers are different. Today, it is difficult for a simple browser to rely on the user to enter the URL and open the page as a selling point. With the decline in entry status, traffic is divided up, and market share facing giants, it is difficult to have countermeasures. Even the most important "search" in browsers, many people have become accustomed to completing it in WeChat and Weibo.
▲ Picture from: unsplash
You may not remember, when was the last time you opened your browser. Shopping, you will find Taobao; taxi, you will find Didi; order food, you will find Meituan… Most of our daily life and work needs have been divided by these apps, and the frequency and duration of use , Are far more than opening a browser.
▲If there is no external link blocking, WeChat is already equivalent to many people's browsers
When will a browser be needed? The external link sent by a friend can’t be opened in WeChat, you may need to use it to do a jump; otherwise, you have encountered a knowledge blind spot and want search engines to save it; someone told me that he is only connecting to the public When using WiFi, I only think of actively clicking on the built-in browser, just to go through the verification code process.
But these scenes are generated passively. As mentioned above, if you want to increase the user's desire to open the browser actively, the distribution of information flow, games, literature and other content, as well as the notification push that can constantly refresh the presence, are all simple Direct and more effective approach.
▲ In fact, mainstream browsers can’t avoid information flow, Chrome is also trying
This is why some people say that the end of the browser is a platform-level application and content distribution platform.
It is precisely because the positioning of the browser is gradually blurred, it can integrate various services without any worries, saving users the time to find, download and use other APPs, and bring more traffic to themselves.
At this time, in terms of seizing user time, there is not much difference between browsers and applications such as Toutiao and Douyin.
Advertising space is definitely indispensable, as long as it can bring clicks, it also means that more shares will be credited.
In addition to choosing niche, you can also manually streamline the browser
The browser that comes with the mobile phone is not hopeless. At least from our experience, most of the built-in browsers have a built-in switch, which may be called "personalized recommendation", "information notification", or Called "Guess you like" and "Notification Bar Message", anyway, the ultimate goal is to create opportunities for push notifications.
▲ These switches can be found in the browser settings, if you don’t want to be harassed by push notifications, turn them off.
These switches are turned on by default, but you can also turn them off manually, which can largely solve the problem of the built-in browser pushing messages randomly and get rid of information overload.
But it takes some thought to find out these switches. We found that some browsers directly hide the options in the second-level menu or even the third-level menu of the setting page. If you don’t click to view them one by one, many people will not Will know.
▲ Xiaomi's own browser provides a simple homepage function
In addition, individual built-in and third-party browsers also provide customization of the first screen function module. For example, Xiaomi’s built-in browser integrates a "concise mode". After opening, it will directly close the information flow, video and other columns, leaving only a simplified main screen, which is very worthy of other mobile phone manufacturers to learn from.
▲ Both Sogou and QQ browsers can close the first-screen information flow, but it is limited to this
In the two third-party browsers, Sogou and QQ, users are also allowed to close the first-screen information stream, but they lack some aesthetics.
▲ What functions should the browser do better? Some niche products have already given answers
Source of title image: w3codex
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