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What 9 internet trends mean for PR

By Cameron McPherson,

Mary Meeker's latest Internet Trends report has tons of interesting nuggets on global internet use. There are now 2.4 billion web users worldwide, and that number is growing fast. The report includes 117 pages of data and insights, but what does it mean for PR people? Here are 9 takeaways and their implications for PR professionals:

1. TV and Internet top media consumption: 42% of America's media diet is dedicated to television; another 26% goes to the internet. Only 6% of that time is spent with print, indicative of the trouble the newspaper industry is having.

2. People like photos: The number of photos uploaded to the Internet per day has exploded since 2005—to more than 500 million per day. As brands share content on social networks, the need for visuals is obvious.

3. Smartphone users look at their devices—a lot: Consumers are reaching for their mobile devices 150 times a day. Make websites, content, and whatever you're using to communicate with to consumers mobile-friendly.

4. Users flock to video: People are embracing online video like never before. Every minute, around 100 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube. That's a 100% increase from 6 years ago. Is your brand there?

5. Vine: Here's another nod to the boom in online video, only these are a bit more condensed. The 6-second video app Vine has grown significantly since January, from 2% of iPhone users to nearly 8%. How can brands leverage the app for storytelling? Last week, a local TV station in Richmond, Va., linked to a Vine app in an online story related to a high school prank.

6. Facebook is huge, but declining: Facebook is in the top three of the world's most-visited websites, behind Google and Microsoft. It's also the only social network to suffer a decline in users in the past couple of years. Decline or not, the sheer number of site visitors proves Facebook's worth as a promotional tool for brands.

7. Transparency gets more transparent: Think about these stats—there are 1.1 billion global active Facebook users, 68% of whom are on mobile and have, on average, more than 200 friends. Every person has the ability to be a reporter. Companies must be truthful and transparent, or they risk their mistakes spreading across social media.

8. Internet access habits will change quickly: Within two years, more people will access the internet from cars, televisions, and appliances other than PCs. Also, wearable technology is coming. This will be another opportunity for brands to creatively develop ways for consumers to access on the go (and possibly, through their eyeglasses).

9. Scan me up, Scotty: Think the QR code is dead? Think again. QR code adoption in China has jumped from 2 million to 9 million in the last year. The QR code will continue to be an extension of campaigns—and a way for consumers to stay informed, increase convenience, and even pay for goods.

Of all the insights, there is one common theme: the need for PR pros to continue to make engaging, relevant content no matter what the platform.

What trends are you most excited about?

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