Silicon Valley and the wider tech world hangs on the annual Internet Trends report by Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker, who published her latest presentation yesterday during the Code conference.
While clicking through a 213-slide (!) PowerPoint deck may not be your favourite way to spend a Thursday, there is plenty to chew on in the 2016 report.
We were interested by the downbeat note that comes through regularly during the presentation about slowing growth in various areas: the growth in global internet users was flat at 9%, while the growth in global smartphone users is slowing, and smartphone unit shipments is slowing “dramatically”.
37 slides in, there’s a stark warning: “Easy Growth Behind Us”. And that’s before she turns her attention to the sudden, sharp spike in mobile ad-blocking.
More positively, Meeker had plenty to say about the growth of user-shared videos on Snapchat and Facebook, noting their climb to 10bn and 8bn daily video views respectively – we’ll sling in the usual, important caveat about both social networks counting a few seconds as a ‘view’ here – and she also hailed the “new paradigm for live broadcasting” represented by Facebook Live.
(Yes, the famous Chewbacca-Mask video gets a slide to itself.)
Messaging apps also continue to grow sharply: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat in particular. Meeker’s presentation is good on the evolution of messaging: from more tools for self-expression (stickers, GIFs, Snapchat lenses) to more business-related conversations, with the suggestion that Android / iOS home-screens are “like portals in Internet 1.0” that could slide from relevance as people do more within their messaging apps.
And music? Well, Meeker only mentions “music” four times in her presentation, and two of those are about music-related content on Snapchat, while one is a footnote and the other is a label for a pie-chart showing QQ Music’s (small) share of Chinese mobile-time-spent.
That said, the slide showing that the average American mobile owner spends five hours a day using their phone; that three apps account for 80% of their app usage; and that YouTube is one of those apps is likely to filter into the music industry’s ongoing debate about Google’s video service.