We Are Social and Hootsuite’s latest collection of Global Digital reports reveals that internet users are growing by an average of more than one million new users every day, with all of the original ‘Next Billion Users’ now online.
The number of people using the internet has surged over the past year, with more than one million people coming online for the first time each day since January 2018. It’s not just internet users that have been growing either, as the extensive new collection of Digital 2019 reports from Hootsuite and We Are Social reveals.
Now, just before we get started with all those numbers, you may want to go grab a coffee and get comfortable. There’s a huge amount of information to digest in the 8,800 words below — I’ll cover global internet penetration, amount of users and internet speeds, global social media usage, numbers for each major social media platform, status of ecommerce, etc. — so you’ll want to take your time to make sense of it all.
We’ll explore all of the key trends and insights from this year’s reports in detail in this article, but here are the essential headlines you need in order to understand ‘Digital in 2019’:</p>
- There are 5.11 billion unique mobile users in the world today, up 100 million (2 percent) in the past year.
- There are 4.39 billion internet users in 2019, an increase of 366 million (9 percent) versus January 2018.
- There are 3.48 billion social media users in 2019, with the worldwide total growing by 288 million (9 percent) since this time last year.
- 3.26 billion people use social media on mobile devices in January 2019, with growth of 297 million new users representing a year-on-year increase of more than 10 percent
With thousands of charts across more than 200 global and local reports, this year’s Global Digital series is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date studies of today’s connected world. We’ll be publishing the local country reports in stages over the coming days over on DataReportal – our dedicated reports library – but this article and the SlideShare embed above distil the essential headlines, trends, and insights you need in order to make sense of digital in 2019.
<span>Before we get into the analysis though, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the wonderful data partners who’ve made this year’s series of reports possible, in particular:</spa
OK… all set for those numbers?
Internet users in 2019
I’m sure I say this every year, but 2018 really was another year of impressive growth across all things digital. However, perhaps the most compelling story in this year’s numbers is that internet user growth actually <span< span=””>>accelerated</span<> in the past year, with more than 366 million new users coming online since we published our Digital 2018 reports.
Our latest internet data – collected and synthesized from a wide variety of reputable sources – shows that internet users are growing at a rate of more than 11 new users per second, which results in that impressive total of one million new users each day. It’s worth noting that some of this growth may be attributable to more up-to-date reporting of user numbers, but that doesn’t detract from the implications of this growth.
We’re particularly encouraged to see that a significant proportion of this year’s growth has come from developing economies, with countries that previously suffered from lacklustre internet penetration posting some strong gains as we start 2019.
The standout story here is India, which has seen internet users jump by almost 100 million in the past 12 months, representing annual growth of more than 20 percent. Internet penetration in th>e South Asian country now stands at roughly 41 percent – a considerable improvement over the 31 percent that we reported this time last year.
These big numbers mean that India is responsible for more than a quarter of this year’s total global growth. Overall, Asia-Pacific delivered 55 percent of the annual growth figure, with China adding another 50 million new users in the past year.
Perhaps surprisingly though, the United States takes third spot in our global ranking of absolute internet user growth. Despite already enjoying an internet penetration rate of 88% this time last year, internet users in the US grew by almost nine percent year-on-year, reaching a total of more than 310 million users in January 2019 (95 percent penetration).
Meanwhile, African nations dominate the list of countries with the fastest growing internet communities, although many of these countries start from relatively small bases. Western Sahara saw the grspan>n additional 2.3 million new users trnt-c9481bd1-9a23-149a-fd50-13d1a9aa413f” class=”textannotation”>anslating to annual growth of more than 60 percent. Encouragingly, Cuba has also witnessed strong social media growth this textannotation”>-9fce3ff5947e” class=enhancement-7d6aa5a5-450e-507e-75fc-fe4a7e1d796c” class=”textannotation”>”textannotation”>year, despite internet access remaining a challenge across the country.
al-2019-Global-Overview-Images-v01-Slide-72-Social-Growth-Ranking-Relative-796×448.png” alt=”” width=”796″ height=”448″ data-mce-src=”https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/19-Digital-2019-Global-Overview-Images-v01-Slide-72-Social-Growth-Ranking-Relative-796×448.png”>China added the greatest number of new social media users over the pasclass=”textannotation”>3e2-251a-62f3-9580-71f9caa2d1a1″ class=”textannotation”>t 12 months, with the country’s tota=”urn:enhancement-e10bf70b-dce2-b823-8ae6-910b772cf717″ class=”textannotation”>l rising by close to 100 million new users since this t<span id=”urn:enhancement-84c9103f-1e77-c436-ad27-f1065d6c6b63″ class=”textannotation”>ime last year. The latest data suggest that more than 1 billion people in China now use sociass=”textannotation”>al media, although we suspn>ect that this figure is somewhat inflated by duplicate<span id=”urn:enhancement-a9d4dc23-c9d0-a381-5b35-70d1113eb1cf” class=”textannotation”> accounts. India also saw strong growth, with more than 60 million users signing up td28c-ef9b-1174325c0352″ class=”textannotation”>textannotation”>o 860a4″ class=”textannotation”>socpan>ial media for the first time during 2018. </s
Meanwhile, despite a flurry of restrictions on social media platforms intion”>l into double digits, and even official government sources have reported strong growth.
The five-year growth figures for social media users are even more striking than those for internet use, with the global social media user total almost doubling since our Digital 2014 reports. This year’s total of 3.49 billion is also just over 2 billion higher than the 1.48 billion we reported in our first Global Digital report back in January 2012.
The global social media audience has also matured considerably during that time, with people around the age of 30 now accounting for the largest share of the world’s social media users. Senior audiences are now <span id=”urn:enhancement-cc830500-</sc114-ef16-3c2c-95afe2570e0b” class=”textannotation”>better repre2804-90c2-3185-6805-cffd15037a1b” class=”textannotation”>-7606-4dc3-ff2a-9a7fcdfbdfad” class=”textannotation”>sented too, and Facebook’s various platforms report a greater number of users over the age of 55 than users below the age of 18.
-74-Social-Audience-Age-Profile-796×448.png” alt=”” width=”796″ height=”448″ data-mce-src=”https://cdn0.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/01/22-Digital-2019-Global-Overview-Images-v01-Slide-74-Social-Audience-Age-Profile-796×448.png”>There’s still a meaningful gender imbalance across overall social media audiences too, but – as we’ll see below – this varies markedly at the individual platform level. In general, countries with the lowest overall social media penetration are also those countries with the greatest male skew.
While these figures are specific to social media users, they>’re likely representative of broader internet use too, which suggests that women suffer from poor levels of internet access in many parts of the developing world. As an essential resource for educaf2-876a-e799-b640d1d20de9″ class=”textannotation”>tion, financial inclusion, employment, and empowerment, ensuring more equal internet access for women must be a priority for the next phase of internet development.
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