The Year That Was The Internet By Mary Meeker

The Year That Was The Internet By Mary Meeker

The best of industry legend and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers analyst Mary Meeker’s annual take on the year that was the Internet.

B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Firstly, some snackable headlines for you.

  • Since 1995 the Internet population around the world has grown from 35 million users to 2.8 billion. Almost 40 per cent of humanity has now been exposed to the frustrating joys of Angry Birds, Eric Gets an Emotion and Crossy Road!
  • Growth in Internet users is dwarfed however by growth in the world’s mobile phone fleet, which has increased from 80 million 20 years ago to 5.2 billion today. And here’s a point worth ferreting away –  only a minority – 40 per cent – are smart phones.
  • Apple is the only outfit to maintain a spot in the top ten largest public Internet companies by market cap. It was second 20 years ago (behind Netscape – remember them?), now it’s first. Indeed it wasn’t really an Internet company at all back then. Twenty years ago nine of the top ten were American, today three Chinese companies make the grade.
  • Facebook has a lot of living left in it. It dominates English language messaging and its video play is roaring.
  • Millennials are a foreign country, they do things differently there.

We have selected our favourite eight.

(1) Let’s get this party started!

Meeker says that while the impact of the Internet has been extraordinary and broad, we are still only at the beginning of the revolution. She notes that while the impact on business and consumers has been huge, education healthcare and government are laggards.

Some description(2) Smartphone subscriptions are well on their way to parity with total Internet users.

The mobile Diaspora is still gathering pace

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(3) The US has reached Internet penetration saturation, yet usage is still growing!

That’s right, even though pretty much everyone in America is connected to the matrix, they are still growing the number of hours they spend online each day. And mobile now garners more than half all internet minutes – the first time that has happened.

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(4) Consumers may have shifted to mobile, but the money hasn’t … yet

The amount of ad dollars spent on the desktop Internet relative to its share of voice has basically reached parity, but mobile is still experiencing a huge lag. Where will the slack come from? Sorry Rupert, print is still massively over subscribed. Newspapers and magazines have a lot of dying left to do.

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(5) The medium is the messaging

Facebook dominates English language messaging with both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger (And Snapchat gets a gong as well) but other languages are producing their own winners; Wechat in China, Line in Japan and KakaoTalk in Korea. The other interesting thing about messaging is that it is not monotheist. Consumers user different messaging apps for different reasons. And if you still wonder why WhatsApp was worth $19B to Mark Zuckerberg, here’s a hint. Meeker says messaging apps may morph into central communications hubs. Hint: Watch what WeChat is up to.

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(6) As if Facebook doesn’t have enough money, now for video…

Youtube has owned the video space almost from its inception, but Facebook is experiencing dramatic growth. Video views have grown from one billion in Q3 last year to four billion in Q1 this year.

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(7) Remember how we all laughed at drone deliveries…

Shipments by drone will more than doubled in value over this year with over three million items delivered. And regulators are coming on board.

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(8) The goat in the snake

This year milleninials became the largest generation in the workforce in the US, accounting for 35 per cent of the total. Gen X wanted their MTV, millennials however want training and development, flexible working hours and cash bonuses.

So if Mary Meeker has taught you nothing else this year at least you can be sure that some things never change. Youth is still wasted on the young. Same as it ever was.

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If you have an hour or two spare and would like to see all of Meeker’s 197 slides, grab a cup of coffee and get scrolling!



This article was written by Andrew Birmingham and originally appeared in  Which50.