Highlights from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2018

We’ve been catching up on Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report, which is an annual report that rounds up insights and data on what is happening online. It was released at the end of May and, although US-based, it has some useful insights for digital communicators and content workers worldwide.

Mary Meeker is a venture capitalist and partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a firm that specialises in spotting big trends and shifts in the internet and new technology – her annual report is now semi-famous. She does a high-speed run-through of the report in this video or scroll down for our report highlights covering jobs/skills, digital communication usage, AI and more.

There are a lot of tech financials in the report but some of the wider stats and trends are relevant to our readers and professionals working in digital communications. Here are some of the bulletpoints we’ve picked out from the 2018 report.

Internet and digital communication usage

  • Internet adoption is now at around 3.6 billion people, half the world’s population, with new user growth getting harder to find.
  • Digital media usage by adult users has risen to just under six hours a day (mostly through mobile growth and wifi networks).
  • Digital payments have overtaken in-store payments (ratio 60:40%).
  • Sharp growth in messaging as a means of communication.
  • Voice technologies are taking off as word accuracy improves.

Digital content and UX trends

  • Data-driven personalisation is increasing customer satisfaction and improving user experiences for customers – but privacy is an increasing issue around data collection.
  • E-commerce is evolving (mobile, personalisation, subscribe/stream rather than buy, new payment tools) and scaling.
  • Internet advertising is still growing but with a shift to mobile (creating unfulfilled ad opportunities there) but accountability for the content is also rising.
  • Educational content usage is rising fast (see Jobs and skills section).

Jobs and skills

  • New technologies and job creation/displacement – the robot revolution may be coming but the historical view is reassuring (although not guaranteed).
  • Job expectations are evolving – eg, employees are prepared to change jobs for a more flexible schedule (51%) and working from home (35%).
  • Flexibility– tech has made freelance work easier to find; high growth in on-demand jobs (which are increasingly global and competitive) – risedriven by Uber, Airbnb, Etsy, Upwork, Doordash, etc.
  • ‘Workforce 2020’ / ‘Future Ready’ programmes – the most popular courses are cyber security / machine learning / data-driven decision making / virtual collaboration.
  • Lifelong learning = 50% of freelancers updated their skills within the past six months.
  • Employees are seeking retraining and education from YouTube and online courses. Eg, on YouTube, there are one billion daily learning video views with 70% of viewers using the platform to help solve work, school or hobby problems. There was also a 38% rise since 2017 in job search video views (eg, CV-writing guides).

Artificial intelligence (AI)

  • AI platforms are emerging from internet leaders (eg, Amazon AWS and Google Cloud AI Services).
  • Enterprise AI – IT spend is small but rapidly rising.
  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, 2/18: “…AI is really important, but we have to be concerned about it.”

Tech giants stats

  • The top 10 internet giants by market value are dominated by the US with China making in-roads: Apple ($924bn), Amazon, Microsoft, Google/Alphabet, Facebook, Alibaba (China), Tencent (China) , Netflix, Ant Financial (China), eBay/Paypal ($133bn).
  • Immigration is critical to a strong economy. The stats on immigrant founders are interesting with 56% of most highly valued tech companies in the US founded by 1st or 2nd generation Americans, notable Steve Jobs (2nd gen Syria), Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (2nd gen Cuba), Sergey Brin (1st gen Russia) and Eduardo Saverin (1st gen Brazil).

Download the full PDF report here: https://www.kleinerperkins.com/perspectives/internet-trends-report-2018

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