Internet usage is on the rise, with adults in the U.S. spending an average of 5.9 hours per day on digital media in 2017, up from 5.6 hours in 2016. Mobile usage has driven this growth, with users spending over three hours on their mobile devices daily. The proliferation of mobile devices is also driving e-commerce sales, which grew by 16% in the U.S. in 2017.

Despite this, the internet’s global user growth is slowing, rising by just 7% in 2017, compared to 12% the previous year. This is partly due to the fact that 50% of the world’s population is now online.

Voice-controlled products like Amazon’s Echo are becoming increasingly popular, with the Echo’s installed base in the U.S. rising to over 30 million in 2017. This rise in voice-controlled technology is leading to a decrease in the importance of typing, with 20% of mobile queries now made via voice.

China is a major player in the global internet market, with nine of the world’s 20 largest internet companies based there, up from just two in 2013. These companies are not just growing in size, but also in their scope of influence, with many expanding into new sectors such as transportation and entertainment.

In terms of work, freelancing is becoming more common, with freelancers representing 16% of the total U.S. workforce in 2017, up from 10% in 2015. This rise is driven by the desire for personal flexibility and the freedom to choose projects.

The report also highlights the importance of data and personalisation in improving business performance. Businesses that use data effectively can improve their customer experiences, operational efficiency, and ultimately, their bottom line.

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