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.
Lisa Sicard says
Some amazing facts like I thought I would see TikTok mentioned in the last one but it was not. I also have read that Google has lost a little on search as DuckDuckgo gained popularity in the last year. It will be interesting to see your future posts with more stats on these numbers and places that will overtake some of them. I keep thinking about MySpace 🙂 Have a great day Tom!
Tom Pick says
Thanks Lisa! Yes, more to come…TikTok certainly, also the tremendous (and perhaps mildly disturbing?) growth in SnapChat among age 50+ users. Stay tuned. 🙂