Home / Politics / Policy /  India lone bright spot in Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2016 report

New Delhi: The number of Internet users in India grew rapidly, by 40% in 2015, to 277 million. In the process, India has become the only country where the growth rate of Internet users in 2015 was higher than that the previous year (33%). It has also become the second-largest country in the world in terms of internet users, ahead of the US, and behind China.

This was one of the key takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report, delivered at Recode’s conference in California yesterday. Meeker, a former Morgan Stanley internet analyst who is now partner at venture-capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers is a legendary figure from the early days of the first dotcom boom in the US. She has been studying the hi-tech and internet economy for close to two decades.

The Meeker Report shows that the global Internet user base grew only 9% in 2015, reaching 3 billion or 42% of the world’s population.

Here are key findings from the report:

1. Global smartphone user growth is down to 21% as compared to 31%. Asia Pacific remains the largest market with a growth of 52% in 2015 as compared to 34% in 2008.

2. Internet advertising in the US has grown by about 20% since 2014, reaching $60 billion—two-thirds of that growth has come from an increase in spending on mobile ads. An average global mobile user uses more than 12 apps daily, while 80% of time is spent in 3 Apps. In the US these are Facebook,Chrome and YouTube while worldwide it is Facebook, WhatsApp and Chrome.

Google and Facebook control 76% of digital advertising revenue. Facebook’s yearly advertising revenue (up 59%) grew much faster than Google’s (18%) last year.

But online advertising still has a long way to go as advertisers still spend a lot on legacy media.

Online video ads are ineffective: 81% of people surveyed mute video ads, 62% are annoyed by pre-roll ads, and 93% have considered using ad-blocking software.

3. Video viewership is exploding, with Snapchat and Facebook Live showing the way, though video ads aren’t always effective. Video Evolution is accelerating from Live (Traditional TV), On-Demand (streaming), Semi-Live (Snapchat Stories) to Real-Live (periscope +Facebook Live).

4. Messaging Continues to Grow Rapidly and is dominated by WhatsApp, Facebook and WeChat. It’s growing rapidly, evolving from simple social text-based conversations to more expressive communication.

5. Voice interfaces may be the way to go because they’re fast, easy, personalized, hands-free, and cheap. Google on Android now is currently seeing 20% of searches from voice, and Amazon Echo sales are growing.

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