Mozilla And Mobile Operators Want To Make The Web More Global And Diverse

David Meyer | GIGAOM | November 5, 2014

Firefox-maker Mozilla and the GSMA mobile operator trade body are teaming up to help develop more non-English content for the web, so as to “positively shape” the future of the mobile web – and they’re looking for others to join them.  As the organizations explained in a Tuesday whitepaper, around 56 percent of current web content is in English, even though that’s the first language of just 5 percent of the world’s population. Some of the most widely-spoken languages are, proportionally speaking, barely represented: 0.8 percent of web content is in Arabic and less than 0.1 percent in Hindi.

That’s obviously largely down to where the web first flourished, but it does represent a big problem for the web’s development. As the whitepaper states:

Even if we solve key issues like access, affordability and efficiency, what will the next wave of users find when they get online? Will it interest them? Will it be a place where they can access and create content that has a meaningful impact on their lives?

The organizations also noted that the emerging markets promise big opportunities for both mobile operators (hence the GSMA’s interest) and challengers to the Google-Apple duopoly (hence the interest of Mozilla, maker of the Firefox OS platform). If there’s more localized mobile content, the logic goes, there’s more opportunity for social development and more money to be made, too...