A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser. Some extensions are authored using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Most modern web browsers have a whole slew of third-party extensions available for download. In recent years, there has been a constant rise in the number of malicious browser extensions flooding the web. Malicious browser extensions will often appear to be legitimate as they seem to originate from vendor websites and come with glowing customer reviews.[32] In the case of affiliate marketing, these malicious extensions are often used to redirect a user’s browser to send fake clicks to websites that are supposedly part of legitimate affiliate marketing programs. Typically, users are completely unaware this is happening other than their browser performance slowing down. Websites end up paying for fake traffic number, and users are unwitting participants in these ad schemes.
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[21]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[21] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[21]:149–150
The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[8][9]

Integral to these verticals and looking into the future are the game-changing IoT devices and connections. According to the WBA Alliance, there is a need to find a dynamic way for IoT devices to search for a computable network and automatically roam between Wi-Fi and mobile networks at scale without intervention. Additionally, interest in Wi-Fi advertising and location services is growing as service providers search for new ways to monetize Wi-Fi and generate new revenue streams. It’s also clear there is a growing awareness and acceptance among consumers that data on their location, movement and behavior can be exchanged for free Wi-Fi.
Although the number of connections is growing 2.4-fold, global M2M IP traffic will grow more than sevenfold over this same period, from 3.7 EB per month in 2017 (3 percent of global IP traffic) to more than 25 EB by 2022 (6 percent of global IP traffic; refer to Figure 12). The amount of traffic is growing faster than the number of connections because of the increase of deployment of video applications on M2M connections and the increased use of applications, such as telemedicine and smart car navigation systems, which require greater bandwidth and lower latency.

Anecdotal evidence supports the idea that overall use increases when speed increases, although there is often a delay between the increase in speed and the increased use, which can range from a few months to several years. The reverse can also be true with the burstiness associated with the adoption of tablets and smartphones, where there is a delay in experiencing the speeds that the devices can support. The Cisco VNI Forecast relates application bit rates to the average speeds in each country. Many of the trends in the resulting traffic forecast can be seen in the speed forecast, such as the high growth rates for developing countries and regions relative to more developed areas (Table 6).

Two-tier programs exist in the minority of affiliate programs; most are simply one-tier. Referral programs beyond two-tier resemble multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing but are different: Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing associations tend to have more complex commission requirements/qualifications than standard affiliate programs.[citation needed]
The Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast methodology has been developed based on a combination of analyst projections, in-house estimates and forecasts, and direct data collection. The analyst projections for broadband connections, video subscribers, mobile connections, and Internet application adoption come from SNL Kagan, Ovum, IDC, Gartner, Ookla Speedtest.net, Strategy Analytics, Dell’Oro Group, Synergy, comScore, Nielsen, Maravedis, ACG Research, ABI Research, Media Partners Asia, IHS, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), CTIA, UN, telecommunications regulators, and others. Upon this foundation are layered Cisco’s own estimates for application adoption, minutes of use, and kilobytes per minute. The adoption, usage, and bit-rate assumptions are tied to fundamental enablers such as broadband speed and computing speed. All usage and traffic results are then validated using data shared with Cisco from service providers. Figure 28 shows the forecast methodology.
With the exception of short-form video and video calling, most forms of Internet video do not have a large upstream component. As a result, traffic is not becoming more symmetric, a situation that many expected when user-generated content first became popular. The emergence of subscribers as content producers is an extremely important social, economic, and cultural phenomenon, but subscribers still consume far more video than they produce. Upstream traffic has been slightly declining as a percentage for several years.

While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.

As in the case of mobile networks, video devices can have a multiplier effect on traffic. An Internet-enabled HD television that draws 2 hours of content per day from the Internet would generate as much Internet traffic as an entire household today. With the growth of video viewing on smartphones and tablets, traffic from these devices is growing as a percentage of total Internet traffic. Share of PCs to total global Internet traffic will decline to 19 percent by 2022, down from 49 percent in 2017. Smartphones will account for 50 percent of total global Internet traffic by 2022, up from 23 percent in 2017 (Figure 5).
The rapid growth of mobile data traffic has been widely recognized and reported. The trend toward mobility carries over into the realm of fixed networks as well, in that an increasing portion of traffic will originate from portable or mobile devices. Figure 21 shows the growth in Wi-Fi and mobile traffic in relation to traffic from wired devices. By 2022, wired networks will account for 29 percent of IP traffic, and Wi-Fi and mobile networks will account for 71 percent of IP traffic. In 2017, wired networks accounted for 48 percent of IP traffic; Wi-Fi accounted for 43 percent; and mobile or cellular networks accounted for 9 percent of total global IP traffic.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]