2016 Internet Trends

The InternetMary Meeker is an analyst for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who tracks everything Internet. Each year she compiles the trends in the industry and collectively these trends paint a good picture of where things are headed. Following are just a few of the many things she is tracking in her most recent report, which makes for a great snapshot of the state of the Internet:

  • Global internet customers continue to grow at 9% per year and now total 3 billion users, or 42% of the world’s population
  • The biggest worldwide barriers to internet adoption are lack of local network infrastructure, illiteracy and high prices of connectivity.
  • Sales of smartphones are slowing and are now increasing at a rate of 10% per year, down from a 5-year trend at 28% per year.
  • The average smartphone user only uses 12 apps daily, making it very challenging for new apps to break into the market.
  • Web users clearly are favoring applications that are video-heavy like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram which are growing much faster than text-heavy platforms like Linked-in and Twitter.
  • Advertising is quickly shifting to follow potential customers. This means advertising with Facebook and Google is growing much faster than anybody else and those two companies garner 76% of online advertising.
  • But total advertising dollars are still weighted towards traditional media like television and radio although the users have shifted online. But it’s obvious that the tide is turning towards online advertising.
  • But ad blocking is up 94% year over year and the online advertising industry needs to find a way to counterbalance the trend.
  • We are starting to see hyper-targeted advertising with ads aimed specifically at potential customers.
  • Messaging is dominated by Facebook Messenger and WeChat (also owned by Facebook) and is growing rapidly.
  • Messaging is supplanting traditional SMS texting due to the ability with messaging to add self-expression to messages.
  • Web customers are showing a strong preference for conversational interfaces on customer service sites, such as being able to read complaints from other customers along with the solution provided. Customers are preferring this over traditional customer service techniques like phone calls, emails or on-site texting with customer service reps.
  • Voice-activated interfaces are growing rapidly. 5% of US homes now have an Amazon Echo. 1 in 5 searches from android phones are activated by voice.
  • From an ecommerce perspective, it’s clear that millennials focus on price and comprehensiveness, while the younger Generation Z cares about the experience, ease, and personalization of the experience and that what they are viewing has aligned values with their own. Generation Z is also more focused on images while Millenials and older generations still think in text.
  • Sellers of new technology are increasingly reliant on success by the adoption of their technology in Japan, China and the Far East. This focus used to be centered on the US and Europe.
  • Non-tech companies are acquiring tech companies to try to fuel growth and take part in the transition to digital.
  • The USA is on a path to become the center of the auto industry again due to innovations from Tesla and Google. But ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft will shrink car ownership.
  • Sports on the web is trending towards comprehensive apps that combine social chatter and professional analysis along with the game stream.

3 thoughts on “2016 Internet Trends

  1. I’m curious–by “illiteracy” above do you mean digital illiteracy or not able to read-illiteracy?

    • In looking at world-wide statistics I am sure that means the inability to read. There are still a lot of illiterate people in the world, and people that can’t read are not likely to want Internet access.

  2. ISPs in the United States DO NOT compete against each other. They cooperate creating the nasty high prices low quality terrible services we have in this nation.

    If we had real competition such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, or Ireland do, there be no need for data caps, prices would be much much lower, FTTP and FTTC middle mile networks would have been deployed on a massive scale, last mile DSL would have been upgraded to VDSL G.fast. DOCSIS 3.1 cable upgrades would already be fully up to gigabit speeds and deployed everywhere, TV and cable TV would have moved OTT with apps installed on streaming boxes such as Apple TV and the amazon firebox, and ISPs would have cooperated with streaming companies, and 90% of this country would have been connected boosting e-commerce which in turn would’ve created more jobs.

    Instead we allowed these companies to take taxpayer money to which they mostly pocketed giving us this lousy shit we have now which is only getting much worse before it will get better.

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