Seven key internet trends from Mary Meeker's 2016 report

Clara Monnet
By Clara Monnet under Insights, News 10 June 2016

Last week, the highly anticipated Mary Meeker annual Internet Trends Report came out, and with it came a plethora of data and interesting facts. Below is a rundown of the seven most interesting data points from this year’s report.

The average American spends more time on mobile devices than desktop of laptop

It turns out that in America, the average adult will spend 5.6 hours a day online - the majority of which is on their mobile. Who knows, perhaps China’s mobile phone walking lanes aren’t such an absurd idea? This change in how we access the internet has also resulted in a shift in how we spend our time online: from a few times a day for long sessions, to many times a day for short bursts - fuelling the demand for bite-sized and accessible content.

Messaging apps are increasingly becoming the second home screen

As businesses expand uses and services beyond social messaging, messaging apps are increasingly becoming a one-stop spot for consumers. This evolution from simple social conversations to business-related conversation facilitates customer service and commerce.

Facebook is leading the way, with 50 million active business accounts dealing with 1 billion messages per month. Canadian firm, Rogers Communications, have increased customer satisfaction by 65% via their Customer Service option on Facebook Messenger.

This evolution is threatening the status of the home screen as the de facto portal to apps.

10% of all retail sales in the US are now conducted online

In 2000, e-commerce sales accounted for just 2% of total sales. Today, this increase to 10% over 16 years may not seem big, until you realise that 10% of US retail sales amounts to $340 billion.

That’s almost enough to pay off Greece’s entire debt.  

Voice will be a new paradigm in human-computer interaction

Today, 1 in 5 searches on Android are via voice, and by 2020, at least 50% of all searches online will be through voice or image search. Voice is set to become the next frontier with machine speech recognition for voice search reaching 90% accuracy in a low noise environment.

Interestingly, Meeker suggests that the iPhone’s biggest threat isn’t Android - it’s the Amazon Echo.

User-generated content is exploding, enabled by the shift in consumer role - from curators and sharers of online content, to creators and collaborators

In the past, consumers engaged passively with brands and adverts online. Today, they are invited to actively engage with them and share them with their friends. As a case in point, Snapchat’s Taco Bell Cinco de Mayo lens received 224 million views, and Facebook boasts the most viewed live video, Chewbacca mom, at 153 million views.

Post-millennial Generation Z (1995-2012) prefer to communicate using video and image rather than text

Whilst Millennials (1981-1996) communicate via text, Generation Z opts for video and images. As a result, today there are over 3 billion images shared daily, and 10 billion short videos viewed every day. That’s almost double the entire global population’s worth of videos and images - every single day.

Google and Facebook claim 76% share of US internet advertising growth in 2015

US internet advertising growth is accelerating year-on-year, driven by mobile. Google and Facebook have not only taken advantage of this trend, but they have proven the model works, with Google generating $75 billion of revenue from online advertising in 2015.

Many online advertisements are currently considered annoying, unruly and ineffective. However, Google and Facebook have been the exception rather than the rule, finding a way to create authentic, entertaining, and brief online adverts. Making adverts on mobile more compelling remains key to overall success for advertisers - as TAB co-founder, Daniel Joseph, recently commented in Campaign.

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As usual, an awful lot has changed in the past year. We have seen the launch of the Apple Watch, Leicester win the Premier League, and Leo finally win his first Oscar... What hasn't changed, however, and continues to be clear from Meeker’s report, is the transformative and radically disruptive power mobile technology has - and will continue to have - for the foreseeable future.

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If you’re wondering how mobile will impact your business today and in the future, get in touch!