India: Growing like crazy and craving local-language content

Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins released her 2017 Internet Trends report today — the mother of all PowerPoint decks. I last commented on the 2014 deck.

A few slides jumped out at me this year — as part of her in-depth focus on India — noting that 46% of India’s Internet users primarily consume local-language content.

This number if higher than I would have guessed and underscores a point I’ve been making for several years now —  the days of assuming you can succeed in India supporting only English are coming to a close.

Google and Facebook got the memo quite some time ago and now support a significant number of India’s 29 official languages. But the question is: When with the rest of the global brands get the memo?

After all, India is now the fastest-growing large market and with plenty of room to grow.

 

According to the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, just 6% of the world’s leading brands support Hindi, which is the most popular of the Indic languages.  Close behind are Urdu and Tamil.

Amazon is investing heavily in this market, no doubt trying to avoid the many missteps it made trying (and largely failing) to dominate China’s ecommerce market. Did you know that last fall Amazon celebrated India’s Festival of Lights?

India added more than 100 million web users in 2016, more than any other country.

If you have time, check out the full deck. Yes, there are more than 300 slides, but they’re a quick read and I guarantee you’ll learn something. I sure did!

PS: I’ve included a section on India in my new book Think Outside the Country.

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report: A web globalization persepective

It has become an annual ritual, Mary Meeker, a Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner, releases a data dump of key Internet stats and trends.

Last year, I wrote a  post on a few slides that jumped out at me.

This year, I feel compelled to do this again, after all, some of these slides are truly significant for those of us in the web/software globalization field.

Let’s begin with this slide:

China GDP

China is on a path to retake its massive share of global GDP.  Truly a staggering growth curve and the major reason why so many companies have prioritized China when expanding overseas. Of course, I do wonder if we’re going to see that red line flatten out a bit over the next few years.

Okay, now onto two of my favorite slides. This one is from 2013:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 8.29.04 PM

“Made in the USA” web properties dominated the top 10 list last year.

Now let’s look at the top 10 for 2014:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 8.29.22 PM

Now there are only 6 “Made in USA” websites on this list, replaced by Alibaba, Baidu, and Sohu. Yes, China again.

But now take a look at the blue vs. yellow portions of each bar — the “Made in USA” website now serve 86% non-US web users, up from 79% last year. If anyone asks you why web globalization is important, show him or her these two slides. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo! are largely serving users based outside of the US.

Which is why I keep banging on this issue.

Now, onto the last slide that jumped out at me:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 8.26.02 PM

This is a slide detailing the most popular markets for smartphones.

Look at the countries at the top of this list — Indonesia, Philippines, China, Brazil, Vietnam.

If your company is truly “mobile first” when it comes to web development, and you have global aspirations, I hope you have languages like Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Portuguese included in your core language list. The rise of mobile Internet penetration is resorting the list of “major” languages that companies must support.

Here’s the link to the full slide deck.

A global look at Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report

Mary Meeker, a Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner, recently provided another healthy dose of data and trends, along with a number of predictions.

But the media largely overlooked the web and software globalization implications of many of these slides.

So allow me to chime in on the slides that jumped out at me.

Let’s begin with this slide:

Mary Meeker intl usage

So the “Made in USA” websites are leading the world in overall visitors. But what doesn’t get noted is that the top-7 websites average 91 languages.

That’s right, 91 languages —  an average skewed heavily by Wikipedia.

Here are my language counts:

Website Languages
Wikipedia 285
Google 145
Facebook 75
Microsoft 48
Yahoo! 47
Apple 32
Amazon 10

These “Made in the USA” websites have been “Localized for the world.” And that’s a major reason they’re so successful outside the USA.

Next slide:

Mary Meeker sharing global trend

Americans aren’t global leaders in “sharing” — though we’ve been unintentionally sharing quite a lot of our data with the NSA (a rant for a future day).

Now, I’m not sure  how different cultures define sharing, which has to be a major caveat to this slide.

Nevertheless, the fact that different cultures share different types and quantities of information is a major globalization challenge.

This isn’t just a Facebook or Google+ issue, it should factor into the degree to which you wish to integrate social networks into your website (as well as your expectations regarding engagement). Privacy concerns could very well be one of the most significant issues of the next decade and beyond.

Next slide:

China mobile trend

This slide is pretty easy to grasp. But a question that often comes up when looking at mobile trends around the world is “How many of X country’s mobile users are using smartphones?”

See below for the answer:

Mary Meeker global smartphone growth

I love this slide because it helps clarify exactly how many mobile users may actually be able to browser your mobile website (or download your mobile app).

China is a significant smartphone market while Russia is not (yet).

So when thinking global about your mobile strategy, you need to also think about smartphones vs. feature phones (those that offer poor or nonexistent web browsing).

So those were the slides that jumped out me. Let me know if something jumped out at you.