Feeds

Mary Meeker's top technology trends

Mobile not paying its way yet and Facebook failures

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

In a speech on internet trends for the next year Mary Meeker, partner at blue chip technology venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, predicted strong growth in mobile use but a cash shortfall for companies relying on ad revenue. She also took time to critique Facebook's recent IPO.

According to her report, global mobile traffic now accounts for 10 per cent of the total internet load and in India has already surpassed desktop access - mobile subscriptions grew 841 per cent there last year. With just under a billion current smartphone users worldwide, and over six billion mobile users, there was still significant opportunity for growth, Meeker says.

Tablet use is also growing fast – with 29 per cent of US homes now having a fondleslab or ereader - and there was good news for Android. KPCB estimates Android users are growing four times faster than iOS purchases and there's no sign of its popularity peaking. But this mobile success will not lead to the kind of revenues that some are predicting, Meeker warns. Mobile suffers a number of clear limitations in turning users into gold.

"It's early, and the screen is small, and advertising hasn't really been rolled out effectively yet," she said at the All Things D10 conference. "There are some companies that are doing it very effectively – Twitter's had some good campaigns – and we're still figuring out local and social."

This translated to a much lower revenue per user return than desktop, up to five times lower for companies like Zynga. While the number of mobile users is only going up, getting money out of them is quite another matter and companies should trim their outlook. KPCB wasn't investing at the moment because it was unhappy with business valuations, she said.

Another cloud on the horizon is the overall economic situation in the US and especially the EU. Debt problems in Greece, Italy, and Spain are expected to send the EU into recession for the year. In the US, consumer confidence is falling and Meeker warned about the levels of debt America is running and the possible consequences.

She also took time out to discuss the current social networking IPO cycle and critiqued the launch of Facebook. Meeker is one of the most qualified people to do so, having taken Netscape to IPO in 1995 and playing a key role in the 2004 launch of Google onto the stock market before leaving banking and going into venture capital.

Meeker said that Facebook shares were trading at $104bn valuation before the IPO on secondary internal markets and the IPO managers pitched the price at what they could get, but that the launch itself was bedeviled with technical problems. At launch, trading levels were higher than any IPO in history; equal to the entire normal daily volume of the New York Stock Exchange, or one and a half times as much traffic as NASDAQ usually handled.

"This IPO was a financial share tsunami – it was coming in and NASDAQ was trying to process all this stuff," she explained. "NASDAQ had a trading issue because it was dealing with this financial tsunami and people owned shares and didn’t even know they had 'em. Then people got shares, saw the price was already lower and said 'I'm out, I'm scared.'" ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.