TECHNOLOGY

The 11 Things You Need to Know From Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Amazon is king, voice technology is on the rise, and immigration is critical to the U.S economy.

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BY Yasmin Gagne - 01 Jun 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Legendary venture capitalist Mary Meeker has released her annual Internet Trends Report. The report spans various industries, identifying trends in areas including mobile and e-commerce. Meeker's report says the number of people doing freelance work grew, mobile use is up, and immigration remains key to the U.S. economy, with over half of the top U.S. companies founded by first- or second-generation immigrants.

Here are 11 things you need to know from the 294-page report:

1. People are spending more time on their smartphones (literally).

Internet use is growing, with adults in the U.S. spending more time--on average, 5.9 hours a day--on connected devices than ever before. Even so, smartphone shipments are flat.

2. Mobile ads must catch up.

There is a $7 billion opportunity, as users shift their time to their smartphones faster than ads can keep up.

3. Cryptocurrency isn't going away.

Interest in digital currencies is exploding, as evidenced by Coinbase's user numbers, which have almost quadrupled since January 2017.

4. Voice-enabled technology is on the rise.

With speech recognition hitting 95 percent accuracy, sales of products using voice recognition technology, such as Amazon Echo, will get more consumer uptake.

5. E-commerce is growing.

Thirteen percent of all purchases happen online and parcel shipments are taking off--presenting a big opportunity for shopping apps.

6. Amazon is huge--and it'll stay huge.

More people start product searches on Amazon than on an internet browser now--though they still rely on social media for inspiration to buy.

7. Subscriptions are up.

Having a free tier makes people more likely to pay. In 2017, year-over-year, Netflix adoption was up 25 percent, The New York Times saw a 43 percent hike, and Spotify was up 48 percent.

8. Online education is growing.

To keep up with new job requirements and to pay off student loan debts, employees are turning to online courses and YouTube to retrain and learn new skills.

9. The number of on-demand workers is growing.

People want the flexibility to work from home and control their hours--and now they largely can, thanks to the internet. The on-demand workforce grew 23 percent in 2017, largely driven by Airbnb, Etsy, Upwork, and Doordash.

10. People are buying fewer cars.

People are keeping their cars for longer and spending more money on ridesharing, which has doubled in 2018.

11. Immigrants are critical to the U.S. economy.

Fifty-six percent of the 25 most valuable tech companies in the U.S. were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants.