Internet Trends 2016 (Part 2: Video Marketing, Messaging and More)

Claude Harrington 06.07.2016

As we mentioned yesterday, venture capitalist Mary Meeker has been giving an annual talk on the state of the internet every year since 1995. What started as intriguing presentations has now become must-see material for those in Silicon Valley. That’s because, over the years, Meeker has shown a prescient talent for identifying digital trends. For example, since 2010 the Digital Growth Funds she helps lead has bet early on numerous breakout hits; an impressive list that includes Twitter, Spotify, slack and many more. In short: when Mary Meeker speaks, people listen.

So naturally, we were eager to hear what Meeker had to say at last week’s Code Conference, where she delivered a talk entitled Internet Trends 2016. Yesterday–in Part 1: Changing Demographics, Evolving Brands–we began breaking down the highlights from the first half of her 213 slide presentation. Today, in Part 2, we look at what Meeker had to say about video, animation, messaging and a few other topics that may alter how we do business.

Mary Meeker

Camera + Storytelling + Creativity + Messaging/Sharing

That’s the new formula for what smartphone usage has increasingly become. Or put another way: whereas smartphones were once devices for receiving data and information, it’s now become much more of a two-way street. From an advertising standpoint, some brands have been able to capitalize on this new dichotomy by creating tools that help users share (with, of course, at least a wink and a nod to the brand). 

Examples include Snapchat Lenses and Facebook Filters like those seen below:


The Snapchat Trifecta

Of all the social media platforms, Snapchat has been the largest to embrace the formula above. Meeker talks about how they’ve succeeded in this new environment with a unique trifecta of “Communications + Video + Platform.” As a result of their stronghold in these different areas, they’ve been able to evolve from a place where personal stories were (and still are) shared to a place, now with a function called “Discover,” to a place where professional stories and products can be shared. Meanwhile, because of where they began (very personal) and how they’ve evolved (still emphasizing that aspect) they’ve been able to grow in such a way that users still associate the platform with a much appreciated authenticity and specificity. 

Live: A New Paradigm for Broadcasting (and Video Marketing)

Specifically, at least for now, Facebook Live. Meeker begins by talking about a recent Facebook Live video that went viral, starring a Wookie-loving Texas mother (Candace Payne) who, from her car, talks touchingly about “the simple joys in life,” referring in this case to a Chewbacca mask she had just purchased from Kohl’s.

From a video marketing perspective, there’s probably not much we can extract from the fact that this video (in comparison to others) has already been watched over 150 million times. But in terms of business strategy, here’s the interesting takeaway:

  • Kohl’s was mentioned twice in Payne’s Facebook Live video
  • Overnight, Kohl’s became the leading app in the United States

Which is a good segue into an over-arching point that Meeker makes: 2016 is believed to be a milestone year for live video. To personify that point (as well as help spur it along), she cites the deal Twitter negotiated with the NFL to live broadcast Thursday night football games during the upcoming 2016 season.


Messaging is Evolving Rapidly Towards More Expressive Communication

In only a short time, messaging has evolved from simple social conversations to business-related conversations. And that trend into the professional sector will only continue to grow. Aside from the ease it provides and the increasing pervasiveness of messaging platforms, Meeker cites the “secret sauce” to messaging being “the magic of the thread.” it’s conversational and it remembers, dates, times and other potentially relevant user-specific pieces of data.  

To see exactly this played out in a real-world business context, Meeker cites what happened when Rogers Communications began  offering customer service over Facebook Messenger. Here’s what happened:

  • Start Date: December, 2015
  • Purpose: Ask Questions, Update Account, Set Up New Plan
  • Results: 65% Increase in Customer Satisfaction and 65% Decrease in Customer Complaints


Big, Getting Bigger and Staying Aggressive

Meeker winds down her presentation by noting that the global Internet leaders are big, getting bigger and staying aggressive. They also have a lot of cash. The top six players based on market cap (Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook Tencent and Alibaba) all have cash reserves of over $10 billion. Another thing they have in common–either internally or through acquisition–is that they’re increasingly betting on technology companies to fuel growth

Final Thoughts

In closing, Mary Meeker ends Internet Trends 2016 with a trio of messages she’s used in the past. And given the timeless nature of their insights, they’re just as relevant in these rapidly changing times as ever before:

“There are pockets of Internet company overvaluation but there are also pockets of undervaluation”

“Very few companies will win. Those that do can win big.”

“Over time, best rule of thumb for valuing companies = value is present value of future cash flows.” 

Questions? Comments? Contact

Similar Stories