The worldwide Internet population is growing rapidly -- and that growth might have something to do with mobile devices.
Speaking today at the AllThingsD D11 Conference, Mary Meeker, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Meeker, reported that 2.4 billion people around the world are on the Internet -- an 8 percent year-over-year gain. Still, only 34 percent of the world's population is online. In the U.S., the Internet population penetration sits at 78 percent, according to Meeker.
Perhaps the biggest news from Meeker's presentation was the staggering growth in mobile devices that access the Internet. According to Meeker, mobile devices contributed to 0.9 percent of Internet traffic in May 2009. A year later, it rose to 2.4 percent. In May, that figure jumped to 15 percent. By the end of next year, mobile devices could account for a whopping 30 percent of all Internet traffic, Meeker reported.
Still, it appears that mobile advertisers haven't seen the value in smartphones and tablets just yet. The average person spends 12 percent of their time on a mobile device. Three percent of advertisement spending in the U.S. is dedicated to those products. Meeker argued that if the ad spending would catch up to the amount of time people spend on mobile devices, companies could stand to gain $20 billion in advertising opportunities once marketers wake up to that.
For a complete look at Meeker's observations on Internet trends, check out her presentation below.