In May, renowned tech analyst Mary Meeker delivered her annual Internet Trends report for 2014, covering all the latest trends involving the Internet. At the heart of this year’s analysis is an emphasis on the rise of mobile interfaces and how this is transforming how we communicate and interact on a global scale. Overall, we are seeing over 10 percent year-on-year growth in terms of Internet use, with the fastest growth in developing markets like India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Smartphone subscribers are growing over 20 percent per year (with the fastest growth in markets like China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia), and tablets by as much as 52 percent. Perhaps most significantly, mobile data traffic is seeing over 81 percent accelerating growth, with video being the strongest driver.
Here are some of the key takeaways from this year’s report:
- One of the biggest transformations the Internet is seeing is a trend toward mobile devices that have sensors that enable users to readily share a large and diverse range of information, which companies can really capitalize on. Specific innovations listed include those that track sleep patterns and fuel efficiency, speech recognition and media personalization tools, and sensors like barometers, fingerprints, accelerometers, and heart rate monitors.
- In terms of data mining, Meeker observes that we are only meaningfully analyzing a tiny fraction (as little as 1 percent) of available data, with tech startups leading the way in expanding this.
- Mobile usage now accounts for 25 percent of all web traffic, up from only 14 percent a year ago. In addition, mobile’s share of online video plays is rising and now accounts for 22 percent.
- Social media applications are becoming more targeted, such as Facebook’s Messenger and Twitter’s Vine.
- People on the whole are sharing more content with a narrower group of people (rather than broadcasting small amounts of information to everyone).
- China has emerged as a leader in mobile commerce development with its messenger application WeChat (which has 400 million active mobile users). With this app, consumers can do everything from bank and invest to book restaurants and buy groceries.
- There is an overall trend of declining costs, with computing, storage, bandwidth, and handsets all decreasing, although data costs tend to remain high.
- Dual screening is becoming increasingly more common, with 84 percent of American mobile users using their device while watching TV (meaning that while consumers are seeing more content than ever, they are increasingly able to avoid commercials).
- Global Internet advertising grew 16 percent in the past year, with mobile advertising growth as much as 47 percent.
Mary Meeker is a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Her annual seminar is notable for being hugely influential in the technology industry, as well as among media buyers, strategists, and the global marketplace.
King, Steve. “Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report.” Small Business Labs. 6/10/14.
Meeker, Mary. “Internet Trends 2014 – Code Conference.” KPCB, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. 5/28/14.