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Once a year, all of the tech world stops to listen to what influential analyst Mary Meeker has to say. According to Meeker, current trends show a slight dip in internet user growth but she highlights that emerging markets are showing the fastest growth in terms of internet usage. This growth can be seen more rapidly in what she calls “difficult to monetise developing markets” like India, Indonesia and Nigeria.
Meeker, a partner at VC company Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), unveiled her annual trends report at the Code Conference this week. The report highlights the disruption that is underway in areas like media consumption, education, healthcare, commerce, security, mobile and consumer apps. We have picked some key trends that we thought were worth highlighting.
The strong theme that came across in Meeker’s presentation is that we are in the age of reimagination and how we see the internet must also be reimagined.
The venerable “Queen of the net” maintains that there is strength in mobile. Data traffic on mobile is going up 81% year-over-year, mostly thanks to video, where mobile is now 22% of consumption. Right now only around 30% of the world’s 5.2-billion mobile users have smartphones, which means there is a 70% growth opportunity. She says that mobile contributes to 25% of total web usage worldwide, while Africa climbs to the top with 38%.
One of the most interesting trends that Meeker sees taking prominence in 2014 is the reimagination of content. With more than 130-million monthly unique visitors, Buzzfeed seems to be leading this revolution of media production, consumption and delivery. The new face of content will be more lists, quizzes and breaking news. People will want more content on their mobiles as well as more videos.
We are changing the way we do messaging. The one-to-many modes of communication are losing out to the one-to-one modes. Chat-heavy apps are growing in dominance. We seems to have evolved from sharing things with lots of people to sharing lots of things with a more intimate group of people. This has helped the growth of apps like WeChat and Line. The way she sees it, we are beginning to see the value of nodes and frequent interaction with friends and smaller contact groups.
As the way we communicate evolves to smaller more intimate groups of contact, we have also begun creating a more visual web. This is being driven by the insane popularity of apps like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, which continue to show growth in developed markets.
We are still in the time of mobile and apps but users are preferring purpose-built apps. Meeker reckons that the age of internet unbundling is here. Companies are building for the basic and easy functionalities that users want, not one app to rule them all. She argues that this unbundling will lead to the rise of invisible apps that respond to hardware sensors for when the users need them rather than idle browsing.
China is leading everything online. The trends report notes that China has more critical mass for mobile web than anywhere else in the world, hence it is leading the charge in mobile commerce. Last year the United States owned nine of the top ten online properties — that number has dropped to six while the remaining four belong to China.
You can go through Meeker’s full deck here.