Brief Analysis of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends of 2016 & 2017

Mary Meeker is an American venture capitalist and the 77th most influential and powerful woman as listed by Forbes. Mary is also a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byersa. She is known for analyzing latest internet trends and new technologies.

Mary Meeker’s research on internet helps businessmen and marketers to understand the market trends with informative and essential data. When Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report for 2016 was out, it shocked the technologists as they learnt the internet businesses growth rate is slowing down while messaging apps and image sharing is the next thing in future. That report additionally disclosed the high growth rate of smartphone users globally, with India leading massively.

Next year, the statistics were quite different when Mary Meeker introduced the Internet Trends Report for 2017. The internet surfing figure that reached 3.3 billion in 2016 (which was double the amount in 2009), has now been falling flat nearly by 10% every year from the past 5 years. The report suggests users will spend more time on social media and videos. A study on last four years shows that sharing YouTube videos has reduced from 30% to 20% while the same on Facebook evoked from 7% to 14%.

If you are looking for the extract of the reports for both year and trying to come up with a comparison, we have done the legwork for you. From the slide of 355 pages, we have highlighted the significant areas and numbers that affected the market trends in 2016 and 2017. Let’s have a look.

Internet Trends 2016 Vs 2017 : Mary Meekers’ Point of View

SEO Changed Forever

Voice activated search was first recorded in 2014. Moving in 2016, Mary Meeker suggested that there is a high rise in voice searches. Opening Google and typing a query with your hands will be a thing of past. The Google voice search app gives the flexibility to any smartphone user to simply say “Hello Google! Followed by a query” and shows the results with an audio.

In 2017 report, she supported the fact with a 20% increase in voice search queries as compared to 2016, which is estimated to cross 70% by the year 2020. Her 2017 report also pointed that consumer interaction with smartphones is going to affect the ways search and digital marketing work. Image is another searching parameter that will emerge over time.

Voice enabled assistants like Amazon Echo Suite is being used by half of the Amazon users. By the 4th quarter of 2016, Echo had a number of 8 million users which jumped to 11 million by the first quarter of 2017.


Ad Blocking Gaining Popularity

Ad blocking is being heavily used by mobile users. In 2016, about 400 million users were recorded for the same. Whereas it has lower down to 240 million desktop users for the same Ad blocking software in 2017. In the report, Mary Meeker has pointed out that one in five smartphone users have Ad blocker apps installed on their mobiles.


What It Means:

  • People are not responding well to the ads
  • Advertisers need to think of new innovative ways to show ads that do not interfere with user experience
  • Marketers need to come up with new interesting revenue models
  • For the time being, companies need to find a way around adblockers, considering a lot of free app economy depends upon it

Google & Facebook Dominating The Web

Google & Facebook advertising platforms have left most of the major ad companies behind in the race within a short span of time. Combining both these companies, they own the advertising revenue of 76% from U.S., which is rapidly growing day by day. The data from both the reports represents the powerful platforms like Google and Facebook have dominated the web with their accurate targeting capabilities and huge amount of databases and will probably continue to do so.



Messaging Apps Becoming Basic Need

Social media giant Facebook has almost lured every user to install a separate app for chatting in order to send messages to Facebook friends. Acquisition of WhatsApp & Instagram has made it even stronger. Messaging apps have taken the place of prime communication for consumers.

As the number of users of chatbots is increasing, this communication medium is becoming the center of attraction by potential advertisers. According to Meeker’s predictions, conversation based commerce via voice and messaging will be the next big thing.

Slow Smartphone Sales

2016 & 2017, both recorded a slower growth rate in smartphones sales. Total shipments of smartphones increased just by 3% from 2015 to 2016 which was 10% lesser from 2014 to 2015. This data represents how much the mobile user-base growth has slowed which (was recorded 12% in 2016 compared to 25% in 2015). As shown in slide 9-11, Asia-Pacific is the largest smartphone userbase with the global share of 52%, but the growth rate dropped to 23% opposing 35% in last year.



Consistent Rise in Internet Usage

In 2016 report, global Internet users crossed the 3B mark, with India surpassing the US and taking the spot of second largest Internet market across the world. Even though the 2017 report shows a slowed growth, India continues to be the fastest growing economy. The total number of Internet users in India flew to 28 percent in 2016, which is yet 27 percent of online penetration. Mary Meeker says there’s more possibility for growth. Also, with the down rates of bandwidth, the number of mobile Internet users is also increasing.

What It Means:

  • Except in few countries like India and China, the Internet usage is seeing a decline due to lack of interest and perceived need.
  • Companies need to plan new ideas to target non-internet users to increase overall Internet penetration.
  • Less internet cost may help attract Internet users.
  • Despite of internet becoming affordable and accessible than ever, lack of relevant local content is a reason behind potential internet users not connecting to it.

Online Advertising and E-commerce Becoming Actionable and Measurable

Online advertising and e-commerce has been seeing continuous growth owing to the increase in the number of Internet users. The advertising has become more mobile specific with ready to cross $200B mark sometime soon in future (from both Global TV Ad Spend and Global Internet Ad Spend). According to 2016 report, Google and Facebook have been the top two companies to earn highest advertising revenues (with Google: 20% growth and Facebook: 62%).


China’s Economy Continues to Rise

Stated in the 2016 report as an Internet leader on various metrics, China continues to bring forth a golden age of transportation and entertainment together. The new reports hints consumers’ increased interest in games, videos, and livestreaming. It surpassed the US in global interactive game revenue and top retailer rankings in 2016 and the new report shows even higher difference.


Automated Transportation and Wearable Tech is Future

Also mentioned in the 2016 Mary Meeker report as the new paradigm in human-computer interaction, automation and wearable covers a part in 2017 too, although the new report lays much emphasis on healthcare wearables. The 2017 report shows increasing adoption of wearables (25% Americans having one as compared to 12% in 2016). More than 60 percent of consumers are ready to share their health data with companies like Google in 2016.


India – An Ever-Growing Platform for Internet

While the 2016 report kind of ignored the fact, the new report brings forth the part being played by India in the global market. From one of the largest Internet userbase to high smartphones sales, India is looking as a good platform for new technologies. The 2017 Mary Meeker’s internet trends report highlights India as a potential and key market for internet trends on the planet. Mary covered all the fields ranging from e-commerce, competitive hardware and software market, and wireless data, to Android users and Internet growth.



When Mary Meeker released the reports of internet trends of 2016 and 2017, the unexpected data turned the heads of many marketing researchers. As the iOS mobile market was at its peak, a sudden increase in Android users crossed half of the market shares during early 2016. While Asian countries like India and China spotted the top positions in terms of the number of internet users in 2017, the US remained stagnant. Snapchat, the face swapping app became the new social champion among Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

2017, the year of mobile revolution recorded a shift of more than 500 million users from desktop to mobiles. The new way of internet search using ‘voice over mobile’ helped marketers to clearly understand what the customer is searching in a new dimension.

To stay relevant in the ever-changing market, marketers/businesses need to go hand in hand with innovation, which can be better achieved through customer understanding and engagement.

So this was our take on the Internet trends reports of 2016 and 2017 by Mary Meeker. Got a suggestion or something to share? Leave us your feedback in comments below.

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Rahul Vij

Co-founded WebSpero solutions about a decade ago. Having worked in web development- I realized the dream of transforming ideas sketched out on paper into fully functioning websites. Seeing how that affected the customers’ generation of leads and conversions, I wanted to delve deeper into the sphere of digital marketing. At Webspero Solutions, handling operations and heading the entire Digital Marketing Field – SEO, PPC, and Content are my core domains. And although we as a team have faced many challenges, we have come far learning along and excelling in this field and making a remarkable online reputation for our work. Having worked in building websites and understanding that sites are bare structures without quality content, the main focus was to branch into optimizing each website for search engines. Investing in original, quality content creation is essential to SEO success in the current search climate. Succeeding in this arena ensures the benefits of producing visitor-friendly content. Directing all our teams to zoom in on these factors has been a role that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing throughout these years. linkedin