Global Innovation and Competition Continue to Drive Product Improvements

By Rieva Lesonsky

More than half the world is wired. According to Mary Meeker’s annual report for Bond Capital, about 3.8 billion people use the internet worldwide. While growth is slowing, which Meeker says is to be expected “when markets reach mainstream,” global innovation and competition continue to drive product improvements, new types of usage and monetization—especially in areas of digital voice, voice wearables, on-demand + local services and traditionally underserved markets.”

China leads the world in internet penetration, followed by India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Germany and the Philippines.

One concern for businesses trying to reach and retain customers online is, according to the report, “Consumers are aware of concerns about internet usage overload and are taking steps to reduce usage.” Also of concern is the increased “opportunity for cyberattacks.”

On a more positive front, e-commerce growth clocks in at a solid 12.4% year-over-year.

Axios PM, a newsletter, says in the U.S., 26% of adults say “they’re almost always online,” but 63% “tried to limit [their] personal smartphone use” last year, up from 47% in 2017. But most Americans (88%) consider the internet “a positive for themselves” and for society (70%).

Digital media usage is up as well. Meeker’s report shows last year American adults spent 6.3 hours a day on digital media—and more than half of those hours (3.6) were spent on mobile devices.

Of Americans’ favorite online platforms YouTube and Instagram had the most growth in terms of daily usage.

Other items of note:

  • When it started Twitter was text-only, today it’s text + images + video.
  • Instagram has transformed from photo-sharing to sharing photos and videos to e-commerce (2019)
  • Pinterest has evolved from a image-organization/sharing site to image-powered search to image-driven discovery/commerce.

Group stock photo by oneinchpunch/Shutterstock