The internet has been one of the most growing and transformative technologies. With its fast-growing influence on both large economies and individual consumers, the internet has become an important part of our day-to-day lives. It has transformed how we share information, organize the flow of things and connect with others.
This year, the internet assisted in the soaring popularity of Zoom and Microsoft Teams for employee communication and collaboration. Instant messaging apps and social media apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter, also helped people around the world communicate with each other digitally. Over the years the internet has also developed online sports betting that has changed the way players gamble on sporting events.
The global internet penetration
At the moment mobiles are key to driving the growth of internet usage, with a large percentage of the global population using smartphones. In addition to this, the number of internet users in 2019 stood at 4.4 billion, which was a nine percent increase from the previous year. The number of active social media users is also at an incredible 3.80 billion.
Top of the list for some of the most popular sites that users visit around the globe include Google.com, Facebook, and YouTube. Whilst the digital population is growing in most parts of the globe, internet availability and access can differ greatly depending on the continent or region.
The most popular internet activities around the world
As the internet has turned out to be an essential tool for entertainment, communication, sports and information, the average time spent online each day is doubling every year. In 2019 the number of internet users spent approximately 170 minutes each day online, mainly through smartphones. Some popular mobile online activities with users include using social media, video streaming platforms, and instant messaging services.
Instant Messaging – Recent data shows that WhatsApp now delivers around 100 billion instant messengers per day and it remains to be the top instant messaging app worldwide with around two billion active users. It’s followed closely by Facebook Messenger with 1.3 billion active users. In the third quarter of 2020, the top five most important apps among Brits were WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Twitter.
Social Media – On average, online users normally spend more than 140 minutes daily on social media, with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, remaining the world’s most used social media platforms. While social networking websites are used by a large percentage of individuals, they’re also now widely used by organisations and businesses to promote their brands, products, and social media content.
Online Gambling – Over the years, online gambling has also been a rising online activity with internet users. Some of the most popular types of gambling activities in the United Kingdom include the lottery, scratch cards, and sports betting. According to a 2019 report by the Gambling Commission, mobile phones became the most popular method for accessing online gambling, with 50% of survey respondents using mobiles for gambling participation across a four-week time period.
Mobile gadgets help to accelerate digital connections
For years now, businesses and individuals have relied on technology for a variety of uses. The technological advancement of mobile tech has helped internet users access the internet on the go, use mobile applications, and communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. Apps like Skype, Slack, and Facebook Messenger can be utilized by people around the world for fast-communication to send instant messages and quick video calls without long waiting times.
Mobile phones have become popular devices to use to access the internet as they are now more readily affordable and available than ever. According to recent data on Statista, mobiles also account for around half of web traffic worldwide. In the third quarter for 2020, the share of mobile traffic was around 50.81%.
The rise of digital awareness and e-commerce in the world
Today, the internet has also transformed the way items are bought and sold all around the globe. Consumer habits have seen minor changes over the decades but nothing compares to the massive shift associated with buyers increasingly choosing to spend their money online. Industries have been trying to get and maintain any edge they can within this new consumer landscape and some have been more successful than others.
Many online transactions are now done through mobile devices, with quick payment methods like PayPal. More data from Statista also suggests that 80% of online shoppers in Europe prefer using methods like PayPal and Allpay while just 69% prefer to pay with credit/debit cards.
The most popular online retail site worldwide at the moment is Amazon with many internet users around the world browsing the online store each day. Rather than spending money in-store, many internet users are also turning to small businesses this year on websites like Etsy to make purchases too. Truly, the significance, ease, and popularity of online shopping cannot be overstated.