When Mary Meeker speaks, folks in the Internet and tech industries sit up and listen. Meeker, currently a partner at Kleiner Perkins, one of the top venture capital firms in Silcon Valley, is widely respected for her knowledge and experience and ability to spot a trend a mile away.
Meeker has been reporting on the state of the Internet and related industries since the mid-90s. Most recently she issued her “Internet Trends 2011″ report at the Web2.0 conference this week in San Francisco. The report touches on the increasing globalization of the Internet, the huge growth and potential for the mobile market, the flow of ad dollars to the Web and mobile and the potential for community building with mobile devices.
The Web is Really the World Wide Web
In the past three years, China added more Internet users than exist in the US. Growth in Internet use outside of the US is outpacing growth here so fast it isn’t even close. Similarly, more than 80% of users of the top 10 web destinations are from outside of the US.
It’s a Social Web
Social network users today exceed the total number of Internet users in 2006. And, no surprise here, we’re spending more and more time on social network sites like Facebook.
It’s a Mobile Web
Mobile apps and devices are revolutionizing how we live. Now we are no longer tied to a desktop or even a laptop. Mobile has enabled global information flow and action in events like the Arab Spring or the earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year. In fact Meeker calls the empowerment of people through mobile devices the “Mega-Trend of the 21st Century.”
And along with the explosive growth in mobile usage, mobile advertising and mobile commerce is quickly ramping up.
Meeker spends a great deal of ink in her presentation talking about the intersection of local commerce and mobile. Apps like OpenTable, Foursquare, Yelp, Shopkick and products like Goupon and Livingsocial are rejuvinating local businesses. On the flip side, however, shoppers have a world of information – price, reviews, availability – right on their mobile devices. More than 50% of individuals with smart phones who abandoned an in-store purchase did so because they found the same product online for a better price.
If you work around social media or the Web at all, you should give this a read. It’s got something for everyone who works on or with the Web, espcially folks like us who’s business it is to understand trends and how they impact our business.