During the early days of the Internet Mary Meeker was part of the venture capital teams that helped bring brands like Netscape and Google from startup to established companies. She was also providing a commentary on the Internet industry and trends with ‘The Internet Report’. Nowadays her yearly ‘Internet Trends’ report has become known as a great resource for spotting big-picture digital trends. It’s provided a great opportunity for me to connect the dots.
Slide 11: The above slide shows that people and brands around the world are creating and sharing content at a staggering rate. Brian Solis had some similar thoughts in a recent blog post (“According to IBM, 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.”). Content is also more useful than before because it’s become more findable, searchable and contains enough data that offers context to others.
On your favorite social network there’s nearly always someone who’ll listen to what you have to say, regardless of it being day or night or your geography. How much of this content is being created by ‘Generation C’? The report illustrates just how connected people and brands have become, and the creation, discussion and sharing of photos (500MM+) and video (100 hours of video per minute uploaded to YouTube) illustrates the continued rise of rich content.
Slide 15: Twitter Vine and Dropcam get their own slide in the report. There’s more video uploaded per minute than YouTube through Dropcam (Wow). I think we’re being told that this new format of short-form video is the beginning of a trend. Vine is like a next generation of animated Gif. The IOS mobile app produces 6 seconds of looping video that incudes audio. It’s a product that’s been created in the mobile age for mobile users. It’s fun and without question it has captured people’s imagination. Numbers will continue to rise with the recent release for Android.
Re-imagination and disposable content. Two great labels for content that’s created and then disappears. Snapchat’s growth mentioned in the report got a lot of buzz several months ago and Facebook released ‘Poke’ to compete. Similarly to Vine these are mobile products. People can produce content that has value ‘now’, and is an entertaining way for younger mobile users to communicate. The trend is that people are using these new tools to communicate, create and have fun. Photos/videos have the same value of what was once an email or text message. Not sure how useful galleries of photos without context will be in the day’s ahead.
Slide 21: Content in the form of audio/sound is featured in the report too. SoundCloud has 11 hours of sound uploaded per minute. WeChat has a great user experience for voice chat. Is the trend that our default user experience is to hit the record or transcribe button on our mobile device when you want to communicate, create, etc.? In terms of new ways to communicate Google Now was released earlier this year and thinks your important things on your behalf. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Clients 27: Tools to create, and tools to share. The report confirms that the sharing of content has now become part of our DNA. Nearly every aspect of our lives has become a shareable moment, and now with mobile it couldn’t be easier to capture an event and distribute it to friends. It might not be a sign of anything, but every social platform listed above is showing an increase in sharing, with the exception of Facebook. They’re still leading the charge, but it will be interesting to see how the other players tackle the challenges of becoming a ‘mobile company’, and defining what the next generation of connected devices will look like. The recent Tumblr and Yahoo will add some interesting ideas in the year ahead.
Slide: 31: Question: “How do social and communication activities on smartphones make you feel”? Are ‘Connected, Excited, and Curious’ just the beginning of how we feel about the smartphone? Will people become familiar with those characteristics and perhaps the non-circled dots will define the next trend?
It’s never been easier for people to create content and a big takeaway from this years report is the role of mobile. The report states that 15% of global Internet traffic is via mobile, and that trend will continue to rise. The term ‘mobile first’ has been around for some time now. It started life in the design and development community as a methodology for starting with a mobile context first and designing out (touch interfaces, various screen sizes, etc.). Many of the services and products mentioned in the report are mobile experiences, what I’m not sure about is if many of the todays campaigns are beginning with a mobile user experience first.
Slide: 52: The data slides in the report reference Waze, Jawbone, and Yelp. These services deliver a specific set of features, and then the ‘community power’ unleashes an even greater level of content, context and features. The data that these services are learning about from us is helping them understand what we want, and how we want to use them. This is a great example of what traditional brick and mortar businesses could be doing to learn more about their customers.
As presented in this report we’re doing less with laptops and more with smartphones and tablets. Nowadays we rely on our smartphones for so many things; maybe we can’t live without them. As we’ve all adapted to how mobile experiences work we’re starting to see new services and devices that take things to an entirely new level and style of device. Think about how much more content will be created if capturing and sharing a photograph is as simple as blinking your eye. I recently had my first Google Glass sighting when I walked by someone on the street, and I couldn’t help myself from staring at him and wondering, outside of walking what else was he doing right now?
Slide 53: Wearables, connected devices, Internet of things. This trend is tremendously exciting and without question is fuelling the next wave of Internet based technology and experiences. There are many companies who believe that this is game changing, and rumor has it that companies like Apple are starting to develop a new lineup of consumer products. This slide, along with the multi-screen world report from Google and this post about innovation and super brands helps articulate some of these future trends.
A couple of additional posts about the report:
Here’s Mary Meeker’s Latest Internet Trends Report: Mobile, Wearables, And More
Mary Meeker Strikes Again: 5 Trends You Can’t Miss
Innovations in 5: Mary Meeker on wearables, China, and the Internet trends to watch