Classifying the internet into either can get confusing because it seems like it is both the same. But it’s not, and products and services each have their definitions and functions. Internet is a service and it will be explained further ahead.
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Products & Services
Although they both serve the same purpose and it is easy to confuse them both, but there is a major difference between product and service. Products are tangible, and something that consumers can keep for themselves. Service is an experience that the provider gives to the consumer, and they have constant contact with each other based on that service. A service is work done by an individual for another individual. If you consider food, it is a product but your experience at the restaurant, with the chef, the waiters, how long it took to wait, the ambiance, these are all a service. To make it easier to understand, here is the narrowed down version of their major differences:
- Products are tangible and physical in the sense that they can be touched, felt, seen, or smelled. But services are not tangible and can only be felt.
- Services are designed to satisfy their customers but they cannot be taken or carried away. Products also fulfill the needs and want and it can be taken or carried away.
- Products deteriorate in quality and can be replaced with a new one. On the contrary, services are only offered for a particular time and cannot be stored for later use.
What sort of services are internet users getting?
Since all of the components of browsing the internet shows that it is more of a service than a product, let us explore some of the basic services that are being offered on the internet.
- The most popular service being offered over the internet is communication. Internet users use communication services to stay in contact with their friends, families, and loved ones. Some of the most common communication services are email, instant messaging, VOIP, etc.
- Another service being offered by the internet is information retrieval services. As the name suggests, it retrieves information from the internet through accessing information from other sources. A web browser is the most common tool for information retrieval. It also includes services that allow for file transfer from one internet user to another.
Social Network Servicing
is the most common one being used over the internet nowadays. It allows internet users to post stories, share news, scroll through their friends’ timelines and activities, and connect with new users over shared interests.
- The Internet also gives internet users a chance to manage their own products and services. This is made possible through e-commerce, which refers to buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. E-commerce has made global reach possible and its 24/7 availability has made it convenient for consumers to reach out to the buyers.
Video conferencing service
is also possible over the internet. It is a big leap from having a voice call over the telephone, to having a video call with two or more persons. The transmission of video and audio over the internet has completely changed the way communication is being maintained.
Having an internet connection has proved to be helpful in every aspect. It has offered services like looking up a wide variety of information, communicating with our loved ones, searching for products and services online, and entertainment and gaming as well. Having an internet connection is not a luxury anymore. Just like the provision of basic healthcare, education, nutrition is considered a service to fulfill an individual’s basic needs, it is time the internet is also considered the same.