Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report is the ultimate compilation of essential tech statistics. What do this year’s key findings mean for you?
I became a fan of Mary Meeker when she cited a study on millennials I completed many moons ago. So naturally, I was pleased when her 2015 report nearly blew up the Internet. I’m one of those people who read every word of the 150+ slides and have distilled the most critical information to save you time.
#1: Platforms Rule
In this order, the top global Internet companies are Apple, Google, Alibaba, Facebook, and Amazon. These platforms allow users to create their own marketplaces and mini social networks. Thanks to ongoing user contributions, these companies and their offerings are always growing and evolving – and they’re becoming more powerful as a result. Hopefully your organization will strive to emulate these platforms in terms of citizen development, and you will experience greater freedom to rapidly develop innovative applications.
#2: Expanding App Horizons
Although Internet user growth and smartphone user growth are starting to slow globally (only +8 percent and +23 percent in 2014, respectively), major action is happening in the developing countries of India, Brazil, and China. Applications and online services that cater to these markets will be hugely successful, and U.S. only operations would be wise to consider expansion.
#3: A Change in Perspective
We have been accustomed to watching video via the landscape format provided by television – until now. Thanks to applications like Snapchat, users are now watching videos in vertical portrait mode. If you are involved in content creation, you need to rethink how you produce video. Your new approach will likely include fewer long-distance shots and more talking-head type close-ups.
#4: Software’s Changing Purpose
According to a recent tweet from Aaron Levie, enterprise software used to be about making existing work more efficient. Now, the opportunity is to transform the work itself. Facilitated by BYOD, applications that started in the consumer space will make their way into business – the way Square has turned payment on its head is a prime example. Your job will be to keep apprised of new technologies and brainstorm how these can be implemented on behalf of your business.
#5: Messaging Takes Over Mobile
Meeker says that 6 out of 10 of the top apps, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, involve messaging. Increasingly, messaging platforms are becoming centralized communication hubs through which diverse services are offered. And, mobile users spend the most time on these apps, so if you want to create sticky content or improve processes that people can access on their smartphones, you’d be well served to launch them via an existing messaging app.
#6: User Content is King
Back in the early 00s, Internet watchers said that content was king. This is still true, but now we’ve crowned a specific kind of content – user-generated. Meeker reports that Pinterest pin creation is up 75 percent in 2014, Twitch video broadcasts are up 83 percent, and Airbnb reviews are up 140 percent. What’s the lesson? Apps with a dimension of user creation will experience greater adoption.
#7: We Want it Now
If brick-and-mortar businesses thought they were being disrupted before, they’re in for some stress as we enter a new era of convenience. As Meeker remarks, we can now get almost anything (e.g. taxis, take-out, groceries, postage) the same day – and sometimes in mere minutes. Citizen developers will want to keep this in mind, since apps that keep people waiting will not last very long.Posted in Strategy | Tagged BYOD, career, efficiency, innovation, Internet trends, Mary Meeker, messaging, mobile, platforms, productivity, rapid application development, SaaS, software, technology, user content, video