The Internet is growing at a rapid rate, but there's still a long way to go.
Speaking at the D10 Conference today, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB) partner Mary Meeker announced her company's latest report on Internet trends for 2012. Chief among her company's findings was that at the end of 2011, there were nearly 2.3 billion Internet users worldwide, representing 8 percent growth year over year. China led the way with 513 million Web users, followed by the U.S. with 245 million users.
Emerging markets, such as the Philippines, India, and Indonesia saw the strongest growth over the last year, but global Internet penetration currently stands at just 32 percent, indicating the Web has many more years of growth ahead of it.
Meeker's firm also examined the mobile space and found that there are now 1.1 billion mobile 3G subscribers worldwide, representing 37 percent growth year over year. However, like the Web, global penetration is quite low, reaching only 18 percent at the end of last year.
Still, those mobile devices are driving much of the Web's traffic growth. KPCB found that mobile products now account for 10 percent of all Internet traffic. Back in December 2009, that figure stood at just 1 percent of all traffic.
The big problem for advertisers now is monetization. In traditional online advertising, effective CPM (cost per thousand), is $3.50. On the mobile side, it's just 75 cents. Just as concerning, average revenue per user is dramatically higher on the Web rather than in mobile, according to KPCB. In fact, the firm found that Zynga makes five times more per user on the Web than on mobile.
Meeker ended her presentation with a look at recent Web IPOs, revealing that companies have done a fine job generating serious cash at their offering, but don't necessarily perform well after their shares start trading. She pointed out that so far, Facebook has lost about 24 percent of its value since its IPO. Zynga and Groupon have dropped 40 percent. Pandora is down 30 percent since its IPO.
It's Facebook's recent troubles that have caught the attention (and anger) of most investors. But when posed with how she would have handled the IPO, Meeker, who used to work at Facebook's lead underwriter, Morgan Stanley, said that the bankers "did very good with the available information they had."
"Facebook shares were trading at $104 billion in a private market," Meeker said. "The IPO was the largest IPO in market cap in the U.S. It had more trading volume of any IPO in history. On its first day of trading, it traded as many shares as the entire average trading volume of the New York Stock Exchange. This IPO was a financial share tsunami. And Nasdaq was trying to process all of this stuff. That's hard stuff."
Meeker also isn't convinced it's a good time to sell Facebook shares.
"[Facebook] is a great company and it will do very well over time. I think it's precarious to buy it, sell it, or do anything at this time."
This story has been updated throughout the morning.