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Mary Meeker’s top trends for 2016

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Report, widely regarded as the definitive map of the digital world, was presented at Recode’s Code Conference this week. Last year, Meeker identified mobile video and on-demand services as areas of significant growth. Here are her key observations for 2016 so far.

Facebook and Google dominate online advertising

Ad revenues for Facebook grew by 59 per cent year-on-year, while Google’s grew by 18 per cent. All other major digital players combined only grew by 13 per cent. Between them, Facebook and Google control 76 per cent of Internet advertising.

Interruptive advertising is still a problem

According to figures from Unruly, 81 per cent of consumers mute video ads, while 62 per cent feel annoyed or put off when they are forced to watch a pre-roll video. A whopping 93 per cent say they would consider using ad-blocking software.

The majority of people using ad-blockers are based in China, India and Indonesia. The number of people using ad-blocking software on mobile is almost double that of desktop; 420 million mobile users compared to 220 million desktop users. Meeker calls these staggering numbers a “call-to-arms to create better ads.”

Chat is king

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat are the current leaders in the social app space, says Meeker, way ahead of Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Which helps bolster the reasoning of companies like Facebook in exploring the commercial potential of chatbots.

Earlier this year, OgilvyRED’s Peter Fasano suggested that in the near future, instead of focusing on apps when it comes to interacting with brands, consumers will move towards a “verbal, contextual environment which is more AI-driven.”

India is now second biggest global Internet user

India has surpassed the United States in terms of its connected population, which has grown by 40 per cent over the last year; it is now second only to China. There have been a number of attempts to cash in on this anticipated boom, from Facebook’s Free Basics to Apple’s launch of R&D facilities in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

One of the reasons that users in India are so highly sought-after is that new connected consumers are becoming increasingly rare. Meeker points out that more and more new Internet users will originate in the developing world, where consumers are considerably less affluent and the cost of a smartphone is “a material percentage of per capita income.”

And somewhat surprisingly; Facebook can still reach millennials

There’s a wide perception that Facebook isn’t considered cool among millennial users, but according to Meeker’s report, Facebook is among the most effective platforms when it comes to monthly minutes per visitor (Instagram and Snapchat are the others).

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