The annual Internet Trends report from Mary Meeker is a big deal.
Each year, the former Wall Street analyst and current KPCB partner delivers a rundown of what’s hot, what’s rising, and what’s worth looking out for, on all things Internet marketing related.
Put it this way, if Mary doesn’t mention it, it’s probably not worth worrying about.
You can check out the 2015 Internet Trends report below.
What Can We Learn?
The presentation is chock-full of useful insights, critical analyses and graphs galore.
Some of it is very industry specific, while some of it is very top level.
So, as a social media agency, we’ve taken a look and picked out some of the information we think is relevant to our clients and ourselves.
The Internet Empowering Users
Since 1995, the dawn of the Internet era, global penetration has increased from 1% to 39% (p.4).
This increase has come with a shift in where Internet users are based. USA’s 61% share is now just 10%, while Asia (including China) is 51%.
The big takeaway here?
That the Internet is still growing, that there are billions of people in markets that are untapped, and that these markets exist all around the world.
Not only is internet penetration growing, mobile phone market penetration is even higher (p.5).
Since 1995, there has been an increase from 1% to 73% of the population having a mobile phone; 40% are smart phones, 60% are feature phones.
Since 1995, 84% of the US population have gained access to the internet, up from 9% (p.116). Similarly, smartphone connectivity is up from 18% in 2009 to 64% in 2014 (p.117).
This puts content creation into the hands of the consumer (p.7).
With faster upload speeds than ever before, and most of those mobile phones featuring a camera, we see brands around the world leveraging their audiences’ creativity to populate user-generated campaigns.
According to Meeker, 76% of smartphone camera users post their pictures to social (p.70).
Video and Advertising
As global data usage rises (p.13), so does Internet video traffic. “64% of consumer traffic in 2014” was video, including 55% of mobile data traffic.
As Meeker points out (p.16), the percentage of time spent on each media is not reflected in media spend (in the USA, 2014).
Meeker goes on to show (p.17) that Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and Monthly Average User (MAU) are both still growing, but that this growth is slowing for Internet leaders (i.e. Facebook and Twitter).
At myclever™ Agency, we’re always looking ahead of the curve to see what rising social networks could be leveraged for our clients brand campaigns and experiences.
While we know the biggest platforms are still moving forward, this supports our stance that the emerging platforms are a great place to show creative and interactive ways to engage audiences.
The evidence for this is the movement towards video ads (p.20). Formats are optimising to give rich media more exposure, as they deliver a fast and fun way to share a branded message.
With the growth of mobile traffic, we’re inevitably seeing a rise in portrait orientated video viewing. 29% of video views in 2015 are vertical, up from 5% in 2010 (p.24).
Apps like Snapchat, which opens straight into camera viewer and has millions of viewers each day (p.59). With 80% of time on social media coming from mobile, it’s clear that this vertical viewing is going to grow.
Elsewhere in video ads, we’ve seen Facebook native video views increase by 400% in six months (p.60), from 1 billion to 4 billion (75% of which are on mobile).
Another rising video trend is Twitch. Year-on-year, it has grown by 122% to over 100MM MAUs (p.61).
Third-party messaging apps, such as Facebook’s Messenger, Whatsapp and Viber make up six of the top ten apps used worldwide (p.47).
In the USA, e-commerce accounts for $300 billion – 9% of total retail sales in 2014. This is up from 1% in 1998 (p.120).
This figure can only be expected to rise.
Buy Now buttons are optimised for mobile and becoming commonplace, integrating the purchase into the user journey at the moment of interest, reducing friction (p.21).
Pinterest recently announced the introduction of Buy It Pins, which will compliment the 75% year-on-year rise in user-generated pins (p.58).
Although [American] youths still spend more time on Facebook than Instagram (p.68), this usage is decreasing year-on-year for Facebook while Instagram’s usage rises.
Moreover, most [American] teens value Instagram more than any other platform.
According to this year’s report, 87 % of ‘Millennials’ spend all day with their smartphone by their side. As mentioned above, these smartphone users are likely to share content to social media.
Furthermore, Millennials now make up the largest segment of the workforce in the USA (p.109).
According to Meeker (p.111), these workers are tech savvy – making them a huge e-commerce market – and expect to work flexible hours – hence the need for an always-on rapid and reactive business model: the kind that social media offers to brands.
One of the coolest trends to emerge in this year’s presentation is the dramatic rise in drone sales (p.82).
Sales are up 167% year-on-year, which is exciting for brands and content creators alike as drones present a fun and novel way to spread brands’ messages.
myclever™ Agency works with global brands including Seagate, Red Bull, Nikon and eBay group, so we understand the importance of tapping into growing and emerging markets.
As pointed out above, 51% of Internet penetration is comprised of Asia (including China).
According to Meeker, China has the largest volume of social users, while India shows the largest growth in new user additions (p.149).
In India, there is a 37% year-on-year growth of Internet penetration. Many global Internet leaders recognise India as having the most (or second most) platform users (p.167).
These audiences have different habits and platform preferences (p.151-153), which shows us that to capture a region, you have to understand their usage – you need to know where to find them online.
Interestingly, mobile makes up 41% of e-commerce in India (p.170), compared to just 9% in the US (as mentioned above).
One of the biggest learnings from this year’s presentation is that Internet usage continues to grow. But what of it?
The continuing growth of Internet penetration is a huge deal for e-commerce. Audiences online, on social especially, are potential customers just waiting to be reached and engaged.
Brands are gaining access to sophisticated ad formats and tools to reduce the time and friction between the audience’s discovery, desire and conversion.
Another key takeaway is that users are creating a rich variety of their own content – and a lot of it.
Successful social marketing strategies can utilise this plethora of images, video, audio and interaction to create vibrant brand advocates and glean audience insights galore.
Over To You
What do you think? What did you take away from the annual Internet trends presentation?