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The annual Internet Trends Report is easily one of the most anticipated presentations of the year. Compiled as usual by Mary Meeker, the report is the best way to keep the pace with the digital transformation and understand what is going on in the business world.

The Internet Trends 2017 Report comes in the form of a gigantic 355 slides deck, covering everything tech: global trends, online advertising, gaming, cloud computing, and digital healthcare. Ready to check the major takeaways?

Even though the report (that you can find below) may seem daunting at first glance, Mary Meeker, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, has the ability to provide a complete overview of the evolution of technologies, markets and organizations.

The first interesting insight: both the smartphone and the Internet penetration growth are slowing down, a sign that the market is finally reaching the saturation. The global smartphone installed base equals 2.8 billion, a +12% year over year (it was +25% in 2015).

The time spent using the Internet on mobile devices, however, keeps on increasing and confirms that the smartphone is not just a channel anymore. It is a proxy of the customer. Everything we do (search for information; make weighted decisions; purchase products or services; share experiences), we do it using our smartphone.

The second major takeaway is about advertising. Sometimes we hear dark prophecies that envision the death of online advertising, but the data tell another story. Online ads evolve, become more measurable and actionable, and still represent a growing market (+22% in revenues in 2016).

The most promising new formats are those that create a bridge between the user and the Brand, exploiting the qualities of the smartphone: product listing on Google search result page; targeted pins on Pinterest; contextual ads on Facebook; geo-targeted local ads on Google to drive foot traffic to stores; incentive-based video ads; dynamic in-app ads.

As a matter of fact, the evolution of advertising is driven by mobile and is eclipsing the share of TV and desktop advertising. The downside is that the growth has been captured mainly by two players: Google and Facebook (85%). We witness a concentration of power that leaves very few opportunities to the competitors. Take it or leave it.

The way the companies communicate evolves with technology, and so do the customers. In example how we use the mobile device: Voice is beginning to replace typing. In 2016, 20% of mobile queries were made via voice, thanks to an accuracy that has reached about 95% (Google voice recognition).

We are surrounded by smart devices that can communicate even without human intervention. They gather data and sometimes can anticipate our needs and requests. Being able to interact with these technologies will open a whole new world, both for the company (voice orders, notifications, and recommendations) and the customer (simplified experiences and fastest path to purchase).

Another takeaway is about social media and their power to improve the customer experience and support. We already know how valuable is the proper management of this channel in a world that is more and more ‘visual’. Social media can provide the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between people and Brands.

The main objective is to drive accountability and foster real-time online conversations, and the emergence of conversational interfaces (chatbots) is the key technology. Machine learning and small data, connected to the social profile of customers, open the door to a deeper understanding of the customer, rooted in the psychographic dimensions.

We want to highlight one more insight, this time about the revolution in healthcare. There is no doubt that we are moving towards a digital-enabled healthcare. Again, the spreading of mobile devices (wearables) has paved the way for the rapid growth in sources of digital health data.

60% of customers are willing to share their health data with the likes of Google. The result is the proliferation of digitally-native data sets. A whole new market that generates scientifically relevant insights, and profoundly impacts on the delivery of therapeutics and healthcare.

Read the full Internet Trends 2017 Report:

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