6 October 2015
Came across this interesting infographic on dadaviz.com and wondered, what’s really behind it?
Undoubtedly, internet and mobile phone use is growing. But there’s perhaps a little missing context behind social media-friendly images like these.
To get that context, I turned to Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers who created an illuminating, 196-slide presentation, the "2015 Internet Trends Report".
One tidbit that’s in Meeker’s slides, but not in the infographic above, is that internet users went from 0.3% of the global population in 1995, to 39% of the global population in 2014, all this while the global population increased from 5.7 billion people in 1995 to about 7.2 billion in 2014. So the actual number of users grew hugely both in terms of absolute numbers, as well as in terms of percent of the total population.
Similarly, mobile phones increased their reach from 1% of the population, to a whopping 73% of the population, with 40% of the total phones being smartphones.
Another facet I think is important, but not captured in the infographic (which to be fair, is not meant to capture a 196-slide presentation) is that although internet users and phone users are growing, they’re also slowing.
The rise of vertical video is interesting, as was the millennial devotion (dependency?) on smartphones. To see the whole thing—including the slide below on foreign-born Americans that seems especially relevant as presidential candidates talk about immigration—you can check out Meeker’s deck here.