Two-thirds of all the people on earth own a mobile phone. 60% have Internet access. And 54% (4.2 billion) are active social media users.
Those are just a few of the findings from the just-released Digital 2021 Global Overview Report, compiled by We Are Social and Hootsuite. The massive report pulls together data from a wide range of sources to give a picture of the current state of Internet use and trends.
Here are 12 more interesting findings from this impressive research effort.
- While the world’s population grew just 1% in 2020, the number of social media users increased 13.2%.
- It’s a young world. 81% of all people on earth are under the age of 50.
- 97% of global Internet users aged 16 to 64 own a smartphone. 64% own a desktop or laptop, 34% a tablet, and—surprisingly—23% have a smartwatch or wristband.
- North America accounts for just 7.2% of all global Internet users. Europe has 14%. Asia has 43%.
- Twitter has 353 million users. 69% are male. 88% are under the age of 50. (Which explains a lot.)
- Internet users aged 16 to 64, globally, spend an average of nearly seven hours per day online ( three hours 40 minutes of mobile access, three hours 16 minutes desktop). Within those hours, they spend on average two and a half hours on social media; two hours reading content; and one hour listening to podcasts.
- Of the six countries that have 99% of their population using the Internet, four are in the Middle East. The other two are Iceland and Norway.
- 92% of Internet users access the web at least occasionally using a mobile device (that is, only 8% of all Internet users are “desktop only”).
- The youngest Internet users in the study, those aged 16 to 24, access the Internet on average 57% of the time from a mobile device / 43% from a desktop or other non-mobile device (such as a gaming console). For the oldest users covered in this report (aged 55-64 years old), those figures are almost exactly reversed.
- Google dominates the browser world much as it does in search. 63.4% of all web page access is through Google Chrome. That’s followed distantly by Safari (19.3%), Firefox (3.8%), and Microsoft Edge (3.4%).
- The number one reason for using the Internet is “finding information” (63%). Among the other top uses are keeping up with news and events (56%); researching how to do things (52%); finding new ideas or inspiration (48%); and researching products and brands (46%).
- Finally, not a shock, Google is the world’s most popular website. And though their exact rankings vary somewhat, both SEMrush and Similarweb rank six social media platforms within the top 20 most visited sites: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Reddit.
There’s much more in the report, which will likely be revisited in future posts here.