One of my favorite annual events for techies…The release of the ‘Internet Trends 2016 Report’ aka Mary Meeker report. 

Every year, there are many aha moments or great examples shared to demonstrate the unprecedented shift in the way we communicate, work, entertain ourselves, and simply live. 

A few points that stuck with me:

Losing Mojo” due to slowing birth rates, increasing life expectancies and internet reaching saturation…

Yet, my question is ‘what does this mean to serve these older populations, especially recognizing the reality that they are online and engaged, yet far from digitally native?

Continued unrecognized realization of video ads as touch point…the reality is that user-created content has brought the best stuff to the world.  

So, will ad agencies finally embrace co-creation or the brilliancy of others vs. the ‘we create the campaign’ push model that has been in place.  Any step towards busting this up would be a change for the better.

Shifting retail landscape, with continual evolution of business model.  Hang it on the rack is dead; curate the box and ship for immediate gratification is the future.  

And, this flips the retailer power dynamic where manufacturers, big and small, have direct to consumer routes.  The barriers to get and stay on shelf are disintegrating, which presents advantages for the consumer.  

The rumors of Facebook’s demise continue to be exaggerated, as it still has highest engagement amongst 18-34 year olds.  Messenger and Live gave them new breath and reach this year.  

Facebook is the only social platform with 4 generations participating…will they productize for each to stay relevant?  What’s coming after Facebook Live for the Gen Z ‘Digital Natives’?  

Shift for customer service – this seems long overdue, but great to see the numbers behind it.  All brands need chat, need always on support, able to find you vs. you find them approach to be relevant. 

I’d venture to say that most brands aren’t ready for this…this should be a top priority for marketing and branding efforts in 2016, as it goes so far beyond the ‘back-office, outsourced’ customer service of old.     

Love the quantification of the threshold on voice recognition for take-off…it’s already happening at the 95% range with Alexa. 

Opens thinking on how do we make devices that don’t have voice recognition embedded capable…this bridge will be needed for some time, and don’t see it being addressed yet.  

Redefinition of the ‘driving’ experience, trending towards decreased ownership, changing roles / expectation of the car, external forces making being on the road more painful (commute time, upkeep expense, etc.)

I beg to differ on the US poised to be the HUB.  Yes, we ‘could do it’ and yes, Tesla is here, but the entrenched business model has deep roots.  Drivers / riders are changing faster than manufacturers and regulations here in the States.    

Dominance of pure players in China; with stronghold on #1 and #2 position.

Fascinating shift to see Amazon open a shop on Alibaba, a point not mentioned in Meeker’s report.  A modern day ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.’

What surprised me most about the report were the omissions.  Absolutely no mention of Digital Health and Virtual Reality.  I feel like these spaces must be included if we’re looking towards the future of digital engagement and experience from a users’ perspective. 

So, we’ll be covering these spaces for you…expect F’inn’s first edition of the VR Trend Report in August and Digital Health in October.