Very interesting presentation by Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker (yes, that Mary Meeker) at the recent Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Check out this article and the actual presentation here. Besides a fairly healthy prognosis for internet (and related business) growth, the salient theme is that the mobile internet is big…and booming – led in part by “explosive” growth in iPhone and iTouch devices. Indeed, a major fuel to this growth is the sheer increase in cloud-based mobile devices using platforms like GPS, 3G, wi-fi and Bluetooth. According to Meeker (who backs her arguments with mountains of statistics), mobile internet growth is far out-pacing historic desktop internet adoption.

Some of the stats in the report are pretty overwhelming, notably those on the size and growth of major Web platforms:

  • YouTube – 445 million users, 35% Y/Y growth, #2 global search engine
  • Facebook – 390 million users, 153% Y/Y growth, #1 site in time spent (6 billion minutes spent each day)
  • Twitter – 55 million users, 1,171% Y/Y growth, 5 thousand tweets per second during peak times
  • demandMedia – 55 million users, 46% Y/Y growth

According to Meeker, the “secret sauce” to mobile internet growth is the ability to localize data in real-time. The combination of this instant localization with a multi-media, mobile device (like the iPhone) and platforms like Facebook – which allow for integrated, multi-purpose content and applications — creates a highly attractive combination.

And if we needed any more confirmation of the obvious, Meeker argues that next generation platforms (social networks and mobile applications) are driving unprecedented changes in communication and commerce. She writes:

Improvements in social networking and mobile computing platforms (led by Facebook + Apple ecosystems) are fundamentally changing ways people communicate with each other and ways developers / advertisers / vendors reach consumers.
Mobile devices will evolve as remote controls for ever expanding types of real-time cloud-based services, including emerging category of location-based services, creating opportunities + dislocations, empowering consumers in unprecedented + transformative ways.
Improvements in social networking and mobile computing platforms (led by Facebook + Apple ecosystems) are fundamentally changing ways people communicate with each other and ways developers / advertisers / vendors reach consumers. Mobile devices will evolve as remote controls for ever expanding types of real-time cloud-based services, including emerging category of location-based services, creating opportunities + dislocations, empowering consumers in unprecedented + transformative ways.

Plenty of other good information in the presentation on the implications of these changes on broadband providers and device manufacturers; the message is there will be big winners and losers as a result of these seismic shifts.

Thanks to my friend – and University of Texas alum – Paul Walker for the tip on this report.

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