The Gong Blog

9 Internet trends and what they mean for the PR industry


Once again, Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends report has tons of interesting nuggets on worldwide Internet usage. Overall, there are now 2.4 billion Internet users across the world. And that number is growing, fast.

The report includes 117 pages of data and insights, but what does it mean for the PR industry? Here are nine takeaways and their implications for PR professionals:

  1. TV and Internet top media consumption: 42 percent of America’s media diet is dedicated to television; another 26 percent goes to the Internet. Only 6 percent of that time is spent with print, most likely indicative of the trouble the newspaper industry is currently having.
  2. People like photos: The number of photos uploaded to the Internet per day has exploded since 2005 – to more than 500 million per day. As brands share content on social networks, the need for visuals is apparent.
  3. Smartphone users look at their devices, a lot: Consumers are reaching for their mobile devices 150 times a day. Make websites, content and whatever you’re communicating to consumers with, mobile-friendly.
  4. Users flock to video: People are embracing video on the Internet like never before. Per minute, 100 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube. That’s a 100 percent increase from six years ago. Is your brand there?
  5. Vine: Another nod to the boom in Internet video, only these are a bit more condensed. The 6-second video clip app Vine has grown significantly since January, from 2 percent to nearly 8 percent. How can brands leverage the app for storytelling? Last week, a local tv station in Richmond, Va. even linked to a Vine app in an online story related to a high school prank. 
  6. Facebook is huge, but declining: Facebook is in the top 3 of the world’s most visited websites, only behind Google and Microsoft. It’s also the only social network to experience a decline in users from 2011-2012. Decline or not, the sheer number of visitors to the site proves Facebook’s worth as a promotional tool for brands.
  7. Transparency gets more transparent: Think about these stats – there are 1.1 billion global active Facebook users, 68 percent of which are on mobile with an average of more than 200 friends. Every person has the ability to be a reporter. Companies must be truthful and transparent, or risk their mistakes being spread across social media. 
  8. Internet access habits will change, quickly: Within two years, more people will access the Internet from cars, televisions and other appliances than PCs. And, wearable technology is coming. This will be another opportunity for brands to creatively develop ways for consumers to access on the go (and possibly, through their glasses).
  9. Scan me up, Scotty: Think the QR Code is dead? Think again. QR Code adoption in China has jumped from two to nine million in the last year. The QR Code will continue to be an extension of campaigns – and a way for consumers to stay informed, increase convenience and even pay for goods.

I’ve spent the last couple of days flipping through Mary’s slides. They’re almost like going through an antique store; you find something new every time you visit. Of all the insights, there is one common theme: the need for PR pros to continue to make engaging, relevant content no matter what the platform.

What trends are you most excited about? 


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POSTED IN: Mobile, Public Relations, Social Media

Cameron McPherson

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  1. Ke'Aun Charles

    The sci-fi nerd in me says wearable technology; a Deus Ex like future would be pretty exciting. However, I’m really surprised by the QR Code bit. It seems really unpopular in the States {I certainly don’t use it}, but I’m excited to see how companies use it in China.

  2. Cameron McPherson

    @Maxwell: Yeah, Android adoption of Vine will be cool to see. I’m sure we’ll see some numbers soon!

    @Ke’Aun: I’m really jealous of all the tech journalists who’ve tried out Google Glasses! Agreed on QR Codes, but think that if companies use them wisely, they could catch on again. Maybe we’ll see some QR Codes on Smithfield Hams soon? (Bad joke.) Heck, millions of MyFitnessPal users are religiously scanning barcodes every day – we’ll see!

  3. Ke'Aun Charles

    @Cameron: Good point about the MyFitnessPal, I didn’t even consider that. I’m thinking that if QR Codes aren’t used in an advertisement function they can work. Every time I’ve seen a QR Code it’s been an advertisement for clothes. MyFitnessPal isn’t trying to push anything on you when it scans an item {far as I know}, so it’s useful.

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