The Internet is changing. It's getting more social, more mobile and more deeply integrated into our lives. And it's increasingly dominated by Chinese people.
That was the message Mary Meeker, a venture capitalist at the firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, delivered at last week's D11 conference. Here are 10 charts from her presentation that illustrate the Internet's transformation into a global, mobile and pervasive medium.
Photo and video sharing explodes
User-generated content sites like Flickr and YouTube have been around for the better part of a decade. But only in the last few years have ordinary users had devices in their pockets powerful enough to share compromising photos of themselves with the world at 2 a.m.
In the last four years, the number of photos shared online has exploded, from fewer than 100 million photos per day in 2009 to more than 500 million today:
The growth of photo-sharing on Facebook actually began to slow a couple of years ago, as users flocked to newer services such as Instagram and Snapchat. Perhaps a chart like this scared Facebook into paying $1 billion to buy Instagram earlier this year.
YouTube videos have had a similarly exponential pattern of growth. People now upload 100 hours of video to YouTube every minute, up from less than 20 hours a minute four years ago.
Facebook's slowing growth can also be seen in this graph, which compares the popularity of a broad range of online services. But it's hard to take this graph too seriously, given that it shows MySpace making a comeback.
Tablets eclipse traditional PCs
At the beginning of 2010, hardly anyone had a tablet computer. Then Apple introduced the iPad. Three years later, consumers are buying more tablets than desktop computers. And they're buying almost as many tablets as laptops.
America wins the smartphone wars
In 2005, only one American company, Microsoft, was making a smartphone operating system, and it was struggling to gain traction. The market was dominated by the Finnish firm Nokia. Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry, was the new hotness.
Today, Apple's iOS and Google's Android dominate the smartphone industry, while Nokia and RIM are struggling to survive.
Digital advertising underperforms
There's an old saying in the media industry that publishers are exchanging "analog dollars for digital dimes." Advertisers will pay a lot more to get their ad in front of a septuagenarian print subscriber than they will to advertise to a twenty-something checking CNN.com.
The Internet ad revenue problem hasn't gone away. People spend only 6 percent of their time reading newspapers, yet papers like The Washington Post capture a whopping 23 percent of the advertising revenue. Conversely, digital media (the Web and mobile) get 38 percent of people's time but only 25 percent of advertising dollars:
Online education thrives
Online education has not been growing at the same torrid pace as have online pictures and videos. But over the last decade, both the number and percentage of college students enrolled in online programs have been steadily increasing:
China becomes a mobile Internet superpower
America invented the Internet, and many of the world's most important Internet companies are based in the United States. But it can no longer take its Internet leadership for granted. China recently surpassed the United States in the number of active mobile devices. And China's much larger population means that nation's lead on this metric will keep growing.
Chinese consumers are enthusiastically adopting mobile devices. In 2007, virtually all Chinese Internet users relied on a desktop computer to access the Internet, while only about a quarter of them had a smartphone. But by the end of 2012, more Chinese Internet users logged on with a mobile device (76 percent) than a desktop computer (71 percent).
Relative to China, America is a nation of couch potatoes. We spend 42 percent of our media time watching television, compared with 29 percent in China. Chinese consumers spend 55 percent of their media time online, compared with Americans' 38 percent.