What startups can learn from 3 top Internet Trends of 2018
Did you know that in 2018, half the world’s population (3.6 billion people) will have internet access? That’s the word from popular analyst Mary Meeker, who recently released her annual Internet Trends Report.
According to the report, most of these people will be accessing the internet on their mobile devices. Given the fact that there are more people with mobile phones and that they’re spending approximately 6 hours each day on these devices, it’s pretty clear that if you’re a startup company looking to reach an audience, you’ll want to do it on mobile.
In addition to the focus on mobile use and applications, there are 3 major trends happening right now when it comes to the internet that startups should pay attention to: artificial intelligence (AI), digital payments, and voice recognition. Here’s what startups need to know about these trends and how they can deliver solutions guaranteed to reach the largest audiences.
Trend #1: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence combined with the popularity of “smart” devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) is paving the way for a whole new niche of AI startups.
Solutions that help connect all of our devices while also providing valuable information and feedback are being developed at a rapid pace. Consider the health industry, where there are numerous internet-based devices to monitor conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and more. These types of solutions have the power to not only improve peoples’ health, but also possibly save their lives.
Another area that is growing quickly in the space is AI chatbot technology. Smart chatbots are the future of the customer service industry. Using AI and machine learning algorithms make bots smarter and much faster than humans, allowing companies utilizing them to provide their customers with the instant support they expect.
As the demand for AI products increases, startups focused on creating solutions that use artificial intelligence and the internet to capitalize on both health monitoring and “instant gratification” trends will find themselves on the cutting edge of the next wave of successful tech companies.
Trend #2: Digital Payments
Another important trend mentioned in Meeker’s report is the fact that digital payments are on the rise all over the world. This is leading to higher levels of interest and investment in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
According to Meeker, Coinbase’s user count has quadrupled since January of 2017. This proves that we are slowly but surely moving towards a cashless society as the ability to pay with bitcoin and other types of cyber currency, as well as interest in blockchain technology, is growing in popularity.
Consumers have been moving away from cash payments for quite some time, and it’s rare to actually see someone pay with a check at a store nowadays. People are much more comfortable using mobile payment options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. This is especially true among millennials.
Startups that are focused on these new types of mobile digital payments and/or ways to make digital payments more secure will see a lot of interest – not only from consumers and their user base, but also from the investment community.
Trend #3: Voice Recognition
Voice recognition technology was also an important trend discussed at length in Meeker’s presentation.
This rising trend has been brought about by the popularity of devices such as Amazon Echo, Alexa, and Apple’s HomePod. Of course, everything started with Apple’s Siri voice recognition, but that has grown exponentially as speech recognition has reached a level of 95% accuracy according to Meeker’s report.
Amazon Echo’s user base alone grew from 20 million in the 3rd quarter of 2017 to over 30 million by the end of the year. With 30 million people having a voice-activated device installed in their homes, you can bet that the market is ripe for startups developing applications and solutions that leverage voice recognition and its high adoption rate.
One of the most interesting points that Meeker made in her report was the example she used to show how fast technology disruption is happening in today’s society.
She stated that it took almost 80 years for Americans to fully adopt and embrace the dishwasher. It took Americans less than a decade to adopt the internet.
The moral of the story for startups is that the internet is the new “Wild, Wild West” and it is ripe for innovative products and solutions that can capitalize on the technology. To put it another way, “if you build it, they will come.”
iTechArt can help you create solutions based on all of these trends. We have highly-skilled developers that work with all of the latest technologies and programming languages. Get it touch with us and we’ll show you how to leverage these trends to your company’s advantage.