Jun 11, 2019

More than half of the world's population is now online

Mary Meeker at Code Con. Photo: Asa Mathat for Vox Media

Today, more than half of the global population uses the internet, and while many see the technology as a positive tool, there are growing concerns about over-use, per the latest Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker, Bond Capital managing partner and "Queen of the 'Net."

Why it matters: Businesses are adapting to — and even building tools for — users limiting their use of mobile devices and online apps like video streaming and social media.

By the numbers:

  • 51% of the world — or 3.8 billion people — were internet users last year, up from 49% (3.6 billion) in 2017 and only 24% in 2009. Growth slowed to about 6% in 2018.
  • The percentage of U.S. adults who say they're "almost always online" has grown from 21% three years ago to 26%.
  • The percentage of U.S. adults trying to limit personal smartphone use has grown from 47% in 2017 to 63% in 2018.
  • Apple, Google, Facebook, and YouTube have all rolled out tools to help users monitor their usage.
  • People are more concerned about privacy than a year ago (but these high concerns are moderating).
  • Encrypted messaging and Web traffic are rising.
  • And yet, U.S. users still view the internet as a positive for themselves (88%) and society (70%), though both metrics have slightly decreased since 2014.

Go deeper: Check out the full deck here.

Go deeper

Private equity returns fell behind stocks over the past decade

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. private equity returns fell just below S&P 500 returns for the 10-year period ending last June, according to a report released Monday morning by Bain & Company.

Why it matters: Private equity markets itself as beating public markets over long-term time horizons, and usually providing an illiquidity premium to boot. These new performance figures not only dent such claims, but provide fresh ammunition to critics of public pension investment in private equity funds.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.