Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mary Meeker of KPCB venture capitol is a prolific writer and co-author of several industry defining books including the Internet Trends Report 2015. The near 200-page slideshow dissects high-growth Internet companies, digital behaviors, research analysis and more. The result is insightful and incredibly long, so here are five important themes to emerge from Meeker’s greatly anticipated report.

The Global ‘Mobile’ Picture

The proliferation of mobile devices in the last few years has greatly changed the digital frontier. Mobile phone usage is at an all time high, with nearly 80% of the global population using some variation of mobile device. As growth continues in countries likes Brazil and China, which are becoming more capable of providing for mobile users, this growth will slow. As these countries and others get more connected, the general growth of online users and smartphone subscriptions will eventually level off.

Mobile Advertising Potential

It’s a great time for mobile marketing because it’s one of the few advertising areas where spending is lower than the average time spent consuming media advertisements. Compared to other channels like print ads, radio and television, mobile spending is significantly lower, with lots of room to grow as marketers develop new ways to reach consumers on their devices.

Greater Mobile Optimization

Another huge shift comes by way of ad formatting and accessibility, which is now being optimized specifically for mobile as more users shift to smartphones. Big players like Pinterest and Facebook are rolling out better visual versions of interactive advertising. In addition, new features on these popular sites will offer ‘Buy Now’ buttons to minimize friction of purchase at the moment of interest. These quick delivery buttons will make the most of a user’s short time and attention.

Popular Messaging Apps

Messaging apps were unanimously the most popular type of app used via mobile. Regardless of usage or number of sessions, communication reigns supreme. Several of the key characteristics of these apps as described by Meeker’s report include ease of use, personally expressive, mobile friendly and instant access. Of the most used global messaging leaders were WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, China’s WeChat and Korea’s KakaoTalk. Many of these messaging apps are building out expansive platforms and moats to promote inclusive features, from ordering take-out to taxi service.

Content Trends

User generated content is noted in the report as a growing and popular internet phenomenon. This isn’t surprising when many of the most popular apps available focus on communications between users via curated media. Music, holidays and sporting events were some of the growing categories where user generated content, particularly videos, made significant contributions. The Coachella music festival, for example, resulted in nearly 40 million Snapchat videos during the three-day event.

The research into the mobile marketplace is ever-expanding, as consumer demand and brand delivery evolve in new and innovative ways. And this seems like just the beginning of what will be the next digital revolution.