I've noticed a recent linguistic shift in some young people, referring to websites as "apps". Reddit is an "app". The college website is an "app". "Which app did you see that on?"

I don't know if this is just shorthand (they likely access sites through an app) or a genuine misunderstanding of what's going on.

I don't want to be dramatic, but I'd lying if I said it didn't concern me a little. The WWW is a great resource which is free and interoperable. (Well we're down to just 2 browser engines now, but that's another matter). It'd be a shame if the WWW withered away, replaced by "apps", because people didn't know what they had.


@ethicsperoxide A lot of young people interact with the via smartphone apps, so it's not surprising. Some (many?) websites even encourage users to add a bookmark on their home screen, allowing them to treat the website like an app. This has no doubt increased with the widespread adoption of responsive web design.

@ethicsperoxide To be fair, this has existed from the beginning. Think of AOL and CompuServe, offering a gated experience of the 'net with friendly icons. Grandma just wanted to look up recipes; she didn't want to have to learn about the TCP/IP stack. There'll always be people who don't want to bother with the details. And there's no need to be an expert in everything. I can telnet into a webserver and type in HTTP requests by hand, but when I want peach cobbler, I ask Grandma.

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