User interfaces (and human interaction) are being reimagined using big data and more community-oriented platforms. Illustration by John Maeda, KPCB.

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report provides a comprehensive dive into global Internet use. This year’s report was recently released and here are our key takeaways for campaigners and advocacy leaders (along with a longer list of highlights):

“Meet people where they are” has never been more true.Mobile Internet use continues its quick rise, particularly as smartphone and bandwidth prices drop. This growth is fastest in Africa and Asia. Mobile is helping whole new populations connected to the Internet for the first time.

The rapid global growth of messaging platforms (WhatsApp, Snapchat, WeChat, Viber, etc.) is powering a rise “edge communications” with people interacting more with closed, smaller groups instead of big audiences. It’s a further disruption of the broadcast model and more evidence that the latent power of growing a big audience is in finding and communicating with the most engaged. They’re the ones that can be a voice in closed groups – and they’re not necessarily going to be using Facebook or Twitter.

Unfathomable amounts of data are being uploaded (and are shareable/findable).  Two points here for advocates: One, there’s more data than ever about what people are doing, how they’re living, what they’re buying. This data can tell us a lot. Two, people will share data that they’re gathering if they have a personal reason/benefit for it. Meanwhile, more personal transparency isn’t making ethics and privacy concerns any less significant.

It is a long slide deck (164 slides in all) but worth reviewing. Here are some more highlights:

  • Smartphone usage fastest growth in China, India, Brazil and Indonesia (page 4)
  • The adoption of tablets is growing faster than PCs ever did (page 7)
  • Mobile usage by continent, year over year (page 9)
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU) per Google, Facebook and Twitter (page 14)
  • Global messaging services (WhatsApp, Snapchat) is greater than 1 Billion users in less than 5 years (page 36)
  • Unique visitor usage (US only) of “visual web” social networks (Pinterest, Vine, Instagram) is rising rapidly (page 38)
  • Social distribution happens quickly. The average article reaches half of its total audience in 6.5 hrs on Twitter, 9 on Facebook (page 43)
  • Rise of cryptocurrencies (page 53)
  • Growth of uploadable/sharable/findable platforms (Pinterest, IMGUR, WhatsApp, Snapchat) (page 63, 64)
  • Growth of Amazon Web Services (page 74)
  • User interfaces (and human interactions that are possible online) are being reimagined based on the value of community and design innovation (page 76+)
  • Use of datamining and analytics tools like AppsDynamics and SnapLogic (Page 86)
  • Most viewed/used mediums by country (page 96)
  • Impact on viewers – TV+Twitter Ads (page 118)
  • Top 10 Internet properties by global monthly unique visitors (page 130)

Thanks to MobLab Analyst Wendee Parker for her thorough review of the Internet Trends report!

Top photo: User interfaces (and human interaction) are being reimagined using big data and more community-oriented platforms. Illustration by John Maeda, KPCB.