Building a Wide-Open Internet for Our Future Selves

The open internet reflects the ideas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is now woven into the fabric of our daily lives. It is a place where projects big and small can be heard, seen and discovered. This means that new and existing independent content creators and small publishers can share their ideas and content, small business owners and emerging DTC brands can attract customers to their website, and users can access content freely and without restrictions.

Consumers’ online experiences would be restricted without the open internet, including what they read, where they shop, how they buy, and many other factors that could shape societal evolution in ways we don’t yet understand. I see no limits when I think about the future of the Internet. It is a source of open communication defined by people. It is an open internet built on consumer choices.

Keeping the internet open has never been more important. As society navigates the Web3 and metaverse, as well as shifting views toward data privacy, making everyday decisions that underpin a vibrant, open Internet is becoming increasingly important.

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Investing in the open internet

To ensure that the open internet thrives, consumers and marketers must invest in it—and in the case of commerce, that investment requires their time and attention. This is something consumers are currently doing. For example, in our latest Criteo Consumer Confidence Index survey, seven in ten (68 percent) consumers worldwide said they frequently read informational articles on the open internet before buying things they’ve never bought before or products of interest.

43% of shoppers trust reviews on independent review sites more than they see on Amazon, compared to 20% who say they do. When consumers are looking for answers, they turn to the open internet – a trend we expect to continue into the future.

Aside from maintaining a level playing field, it is just a logical course of action for advertisers. According to a 2020 The Harris Poll, most of consumers’ online time (66 percent) is spent on the open internet. However, marketers’ advertising expenditure for the open internet is 37%, and the remaining 63% goes to walls.

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This discrepancy may be due to the fact that the open Internet is not always as effective for marketers as closed systems in walled gardens. An open internet can make it seem like a more difficult way forward when there are so many partners and solutions scattered around. However, the best option is not always the simplest. Marketers need open internet advertising in order to fight for the future of the open internet – and to engage with their customers in environments they trust and spend time in.

to improve The open internet

We aim to support and improve the open internet for marketers and consumers alike. By linking demand and supply across the Commerce Media platform, the goal is to make advertising on the open internet the right and easiest choice for marketers. Simplifying advertising on the open internet in a secure, privacy-oriented way will help marketers and media owners create better experiences for every consumer.

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It’s time for all of us to be open internet activists—in 2023 and beyond—and we’ll keep this decision at the forefront of our minds as we continue to promote an internet where consumers can go anywhere they want, buy where they want and interact with whomever they want. No one can predict the future, but we can all take charge of the internet we believe in.


1Criteo Consumer Confidence Index, Global (Australia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United States), November 2021, N = 3805
2The Harris Poll and OpenX, “The Open Web vs. the Walled Garden,” 2020

(The author is Mr. Taranjit Singh, Managing Director, SEA, India and the opinions expressed in this article are his own)


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