If you're reading this, you probably think you know at least a little something about technology, mobile and the collaborative efforts being undertaken by the most digitally advanced among us. Mary Meeker and her cohorts at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers have released their 2013 Internet Trends report, and it is primo research no member of the knowledge workforce should be without.
Shared Photos, Videos, Sound + Data
The amount of data being spread across the Internet grew by nearly 10x in five years to nearly 2 zettabytes in 2011, the report shared. That includes documents and files, of course, but also photos, videos, sound files and other data. Apps like Facebook and Snapchat (especially Snapchat in the last 12 months up to April 2013) are responsible for the terrific rise in photo sharing, while YouTube and Twitter's Vine account for the impressive video growth.
Soundcloud and Tencent WeChat were noted for their impressive growth in sound and music sharing, and apps like Waze, Yelp and Jawbone Up recognized for generating huge amounts of road traffic, reviews and health data online. We've become a digital world of sharers, but the US overall is below average when it comes to sharing, according to the 2013 Internet Trends report. 15% of Americans said they share everything or most things online, compared to a world average of 24% That ranking still puts the US in the top 20 nations, however.
While mobile phones have indeed gotten smarter over the last decade, we've been using the handheld communicators for nearly 20 years. As the digital landscape finally seemed to stabilize in the iPhone era, the tablet computer has come along and truly shifted the Internet world.
Smartphone subscriptions continue to go up rapidly, but tablet computers began outselling desktops and notebooks at the end of 2012 less than three years after being introduced. Overall, the report found about every 10 years a new technology cycle started (above image), and the mobile era may be giving way to the next wave even before its 10 year cycle comes up.
Mobile sensors and cheaper production costs could lead to an explosion of wearable devices like Google Glass.
Wearable Computing, Various Smart Devices + QR Codes
People reach for their smartphones nearly 150x per day, the report found, and by using hands free devices, those phones could be even more productive. Add in voice and gesture control, faster mobile connection speeds and improved battery power, and it becomes easier to see why these devices could become popular so fast.
Other kinds of smart gadgets are also at the precipice, the report found, and that means smart cars, point of view cameras like the GoPro and even small drones for disaster relief and aerial video coverage. Additionally, this category includes QR codes and other scannable items like boarding passes, tickets and payments.
Learning from the Chinese + Next Generation Businesses
In China especially, QR codes are huge. From March 2012 to March 2013, QR code scanning in China increased by four times to almost 10 million scans per month. That includes codes for coupons and rewards (42% of scans), promotions (33%), nutrition information or business card exchanges (22%) and payments (3%). The Tencent WeChat app falls into the QR code family, and in China, its growth has matched the crush in scanning usage by growing its registered users by 4x in the last year. The app no has 400 million registered users.
At the beginning of 2013, China surpassed the US in iOS and Android users, and the Chinese also spend more time online and on their mobile devices compared to the US. Taxi apps, same day delivery service apps, and even online shopping are all experiencing explosive growth in China, the report found, and the country's GDP has experienced explosive growth in the last 25 years.
As for the next generation of Internet businesses, entrepreneurs are taking their ideas public in record time, and companies like LinkedIn are cashing in on the connections people make there. But those businesses are also being driven in part by the need for high skilled labor, something the US is particularly short on. High skilled immigrants could be a huge benefit for those tech companies, but the report blames government limits on STEM worker visas from helping fill engineering and computer science jobs Internet companies need.
Check out the report for yourself and let us know in the comments if you think it is on point or if there are any areas where you think the group gave short shrift.