I should have done this two weeks ago
Digging into Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report (thus thoughtfully saving you a 213 page trawl through its content), I initially saw material for three blogs. The one you’ve just started was originally first cab off the rank – that is, before the trainwreck that media is becoming just had to go first.
So let’s wind back the clock a little and “kick off” this Meeker mini-series with a summary of the Top 10 trends from her report.
1. We’re nearing peak smartphone. Growth has plummeted from 28% to 10%. And to the chagrin of some of my friends (you know who you are) Android dominates this space – with a massive 81% smartphone share. However, it’s not exactly the poorhouse for Apple… they utterly own the top end, with IOS handsets selling on average for 3x more than Android
2. Image and voice are rapidly replacing text. Within five years 50% of all searches will be via image or speech, and voice is already accounting for 20% of android searches.
3. A shift in search practice is one thing – but voice interfaces are now intersecting more deeply with our “always on” way of life. We speak at 150 words per minute, but usually type at only 40. This fact, combined with contextual information like location and weather, will mean genuinely personalised experiences. And I don’t mean Siri or OK Google either. Amazon’s Echo is a real contender, one of the Amazon’s most regularly out of stock products (mimicking the experience of the early Kindle), and selling on eBay for $200-$300… despite being only $180 when available on Amazon!
4. Messaging is your new smartphone home screen. On average 80% of time spent on apps is only ever shared between your favourite three. And the three biggest apps just happen to be Facebook, WhatsApp, and Chrome.
5. Hyper targeted marketing (a segment of one) is becoming a reality, driven by the relentless rise of social networks as user platforms.
6. So you’re after Generation Y? Well, don’t bother calling. The phone is their fifth choice for contact. The question is – how are you reengineering your business to reach these customers?
7. We have covered this a bit… advertising dollars have not yet followed the eyeballs. There is a real gap, particularly with mobile.
8. Now on 220m desktops and 420m mobiles, adblocking has skyrocketed by 94%… in just one year.
9. Yes, yes. We all know Facebook and Google are the big beasts. But you want to know where all the smart people have gone? They’re over there in the other room – staring at the FANGs.
10. If privacy is not yet an existential issue for most, then the digital footprint you exchange for all those free services is at least starting to raise some concern. 45% of people are more worried about privacy than they were last year and 74% have limited their online activity due to privacy issues… “Internet users are highly conflicted about the implicit exchange of free or subsidised content and services for personalised advertising”
And just to wind up – here’s a couple of bonus trends that didn’t make the Top 10, but certainly caught my eye.
Bonus One: Cars are the next battle ground, with car ownership dropping as technology allows car pooling and Google, Apple, and Tesla rapidly creating semi-autonomous cars.
Bonus 2: Data is becoming more powerful as storage prices drop and devices proliferate (ie, the Internet of Things). At the same time new and cheaper tools are helping businesses make better decisions with data.