By Vilan Trub, Marketing
Those interested in the current state of the digital marketplace can rejoice because Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report has been released and the data it presents is telling. Over the years, the internet has grown to become an integral part of daily life. That evolution continues as the uses for this technology are now starting to reflect the needs of current generations. For PR pros it is important to understand how important the internet is as a bridge between brands and the public. The following are 8 figures from the report that exemplify how much the internet, as well as society has changed in recent years and how those in the communications space must adjust their plans of action for reaching audiences locally, regionally, and around the world.
27% of the US Population
Millennials represent 27% of the US population. That accounts for almost 1/3rd of the population and is a portion of the population whose spending power is expected to rise significantly in the next 10-20 years. This is the largest generation found in the US and according to the report, they’re financial approach is described as “earn to spend.” Because Millennials represent a significant audience for brands, it’s important to understand their internet habits. For this generation, technology is integral in day to day life. Just how integral has it become?
On average, worldwide mobile users will spend 4 hours using their device per day. That number rises to 5 hours per day for US mobile users. When excluding hours needed for sleep, it becomes apparent that much of person’s time today is spend on a mobile device. Think about what else you do for 5 hours a day and it starts to put this number into perspective. It’s difficult to emphasize just how important mobile devices are to users and the range of activities that are accomplished using one.
The internet is a tool that connects people around the world. The amount of people it currently connects is mindboggling. Global internet users is now at 3 billion individuals. When taking into consideration the amount of time people spend on the internet, and on their mobile devices, it’s impossible to ignore how important these platforms are for reaching audiences with your message. The delivery of your message should be designed for optimal distribution across all digital platforms because that is where your audiences are most likely to be looking for it.
The Millennial generation grew up during the growth of easily accessible internet technology. It is a generation that speaks the internet language and is tech savvy, using two screens at once. What does a generation look like that came into this world with the internet already an integral part of day to day life? This is Generation Z and they use 5 screens at once. In just one generation we went from users being tech savvy to having an innate knowledge of the internet and mobile platforms, as natural an understanding as learning a first language. What’s more fascinating is that Generation Z communicates using images. Using the features that mobile platforms present users, Generation Z takes full advantage and communicates using visuals assets.
The importance of multimedia as a communications tool has grown exponentially. Over 3.25 billion photos are shared each day on select platforms (snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook). As multimedia continues to grow as a form of communication, the number of photos shared will grow even higher. Multimedia is now expected as it is the normal site on mobile and social platforms. Communicating with multimedia is the new way to communicate.
48% of Millennials
Millennials are the largest generation in the US and knowing how to reach that audience is vital for all communications pros. Almost half (48%) of Millennials prefer to be contacted via the internet or social media. When compared with the previous generation, Gen X, whose primary choice is telephone or electronic messaging, it’s easy to see a transition in technology use. We are now fully in the digital age and future generations will be born into a communications-culture of internet, mobile, social and multimedia.
55% of Pinterest Users
Multimedia is ubiquitous and serves a purpose greater than just entertainment. Pinterest, a platform self-described as a visual bookmarking tool that helps users discover and save creative ideas, has evolved and the PR space needs to take note. According to Mary Meeker’s report, 55% of Pinterest users utilize the platform to find and shop for products. Multimedia is now an important tool in educating and converting potential customers and clients. Pinterest needs to be viewed as an example of how audiences are seeing visuals across the internet, and how visuals can be used to reach audiences around the world.
Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, and those that preceded it, show an overall trend that reflects how we communicate and consume, and how we will communicate and consume in the future. As technology, already integral to our daily lives, continues to develop, so will the way we use it. Multimedia is expressive and a quickly growing form of communication, with Generation Z already utilizing images and other visuals as a standard form of communication. Social media is also evolving, becoming so much more than what the individual platforms were originally designed to be. Facebook is a growing news source, Pinterest a place for consumers to learn about and shop for products, as well as other developments for Twitter, Instagram and more. The internet, and the platforms it offers invite users to innovate what it can be used for. Communications professionals need to learn from this report and build better bridges between brands and the public. These 8 figures show us exactly how to do just that.
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