Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends Report
Mary Meeker, a venture capitalist and the head of Bond Capital, presented her research on the upcoming trends in Internet technologies in 2016. Her yearly presentation has become quite an industry event and a trend in itself. As you watch, identify two or three key trends that interest you most.
Re-Imagining Communication: Images and Messaging
In the rise of visual communication, Meeker says that usage will continue to increase led by millennials' social network engagement leadership across visual media channels like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
Of particular interest is the next evolution stage in behaviours with Generation Z markedly evolved from millennials when it comes to visual communication: text for the latter, images for the former. Where second screen denotes millennials (the 'tech savvy' generation), five screens characterize the Zs (the 'tech innate' generation).
In video use, Meeker surveys an expansive landscape where usage, sophistication and relevance continues to grow rapidly. Smartphone usage behaviour increasingly means camera plus storytelling, creativity, messaging and sharing.
Consequently, advertisers and brands are finding ways into that camera-based storytelling, creativity, messaging and sharing ecosystem.
And with general (non-video) images, usage, sophistication and relevance continue to grow rapidly.
Note Facebook's strong position as owner of four of the most popular platforms in 2015 for sharing images: Facebook itself, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
In messaging platforms, this area is evolving rapidly from enabling simple social conversations to becoming the means for more expressive communication. It's penetrating the business arena with increasingly-sophisticated business-focused communication that not only builds value-connections between a business and its networks of customers, partners, influencers, etc, but also enables transactions to take place including payments.
Look at Facebook Messenger – you can't seriously view Facebook any longer as only a place where people chat and share videos about babies, barbecues and cats.
Line is an interesting one, a Japan-based messaging platform founded in 2011 that I've started hearing more about in recent months, both from the consumer and business perspectives. An alternative to WhatsApp is a common comment I've heard.
Note the word chatbots in the slide above, a word we will hear a great deal about in the rest of this year and into the next.
And Meeker has a clear message for businesses – misunderstand or ignore generational preferences in how people wish to be communicated with at your peril. The best ways for businesses to contact millennials (Gen Y in the slide below) are by social media and chat. The worst way: the telephone. Flip that for boomers and older.
Not a rosy picture in the long term for call-centre marketing and customer service.
And here's further evolution where the home screen on your smartphone isn't just the set of app icons you might be accustomed to. Instead, it's live with your favourite messenger app as either the secondary home screen, or one of the many home screens you can have on your smartphone.
Connecting within easy reach. How long before your favourite chat app becomes your primary home screen?