That doesn't make it valueless: Like Roberts's weekly reports, Meeker's annual presentations put a lot of disparate information in context and offer a guide to what is, well, the conventional wisdom: Beltway wisdom in Roberts's case, Silicon Valley wisdom in Meeker's. Meeker is one up on Roberts in this respect: She offers a lot of data largely generated in-house at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, where the Internet analyst is a partner. Her report, presented Wednesday at the AllThingsD conference, was, as always, accompanied by an insane number of slides.
One of them, showing Facebook (FB) at the head of the pack of social media services that are all growing -- Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube (GOOG), LinkedIn (LNKD) -- prompted Meeker to utter a line that could have been the slogan for her report: "You know that, you intuit it -- here's some data that backs it up."
Another slide showed that 500 million photos are shared online every day, and Meeker expects that number to double between this year and next. Never mind that seemingly 90% of shared photos are interesting mainly just to the sharer, that's an incredible number and it explains why Facebook shelled out $1 billion for Instagram, why Yahoo (YHOO) finally got around to revamping its formerly moribund Flickr service, and why Apple (AAPL) is running all those TV spots peddling the iPhone as a camera. Snapchat is leading the growth of photo-sharing, Meeker said, but photos are driving traffic growth for Facebook and lots of other services as well.
Perhaps more immediately interesting in terms of business prospects, though, was Meeker's description of the mobile market. Mobile still makes up just 15% of Internet traffic. That means there's lots of room for growth as the world continues to port itself to wireless devices. There are now 1.5 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, up by about 400 million in the past year, or a gain of nearly 30%. Until very recently, the popular notion was that mobile advertising would make for a much tougher market even than traditional Internet advertising. And that still might be the case, but Facebook's experience so far seems to show that mobile ads, at least in a social media environment, can work. Facebook's total revenue grew by 43% in the first quarter, Meeker said, while its mobile revenue grew by 54%. Average revenue per Facebook user is down for PC users, and up for mobile users. "They've managed this transition very well," Meeker said.
The growth of mobile devices will continue apace, particularly from a global perspective. "Emerging markets are really driving a lot of that growth," Meeker said, including in some rather surprising places such as Nigeria, Iran, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, we're already seeing the beginnings of the next platform phases, from smartphones and tablets into "wearables, driveables, flyables, and scannables." Those are things like Google Glass, self-driving cars, drones ("of the good kind," Meeker was quick to say), and scanning technology for things like nutrition labels, retail check-out, and travel.
Recent upgrades to the once-innovative service notwithstanding, the photo-sharing site is a lesson in what not to do.
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FORTUNE -- Flickr, the online photo sharing service, seemed to be heading for the big-time when Yahoo acquired it eight years ago. The site already had a lot going for it: legions of devoted users, a team of respected founders, and a headstart on the social media phenomenon. But Yahoo MOREMay 21, 2013 7:47 AM ET
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Put a fork in it, everyone -- the Zune is dead. Microsoft will reportedly put an end to its ill-fated music-video player due to lack of demand. Instead, the company will focus on putting its Zune software onto smartphones likely running Windows Phone 7. (Bloomberg)
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....at least to New York residents.
SeatGeek's Ben Kessler tweeted this morning that his Chrome OS Netbook was waiting for him at his doorstep. According to Flickr, the picture was taken in Manhattan.
PCMag editor Lance Ulanoff just tweeted that his ChromeOS Netbook arrived as well. In Manhattan.
NYC's Laptop Magazine also just got theirs. So did Larry Dignan of ZDNet.
Lifehacker Editor Kevin Purdy got his all the way up in Buffalo.
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The state mounted a PR blitz to show beachgoers that Florida's surf had been spared an oily disaster. Presidential visits aside, it seems social media helped save summer tourism on the Gulf of Mexico
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One chipmaker rules the mobile device arena; the other dominates personal computers. Both have ambitious goals for expansion, and that means butting heads is inevitable
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As Intel's power-hungry chips grow more efficient and ARM CPU designs make strides in performance, the two chipmakers find themselves facing off for market share in a familial safe ground that's become a veritable hot zone brimming with untapped potential and MOREJun 8, 2010 2:07 PM ET
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