The world has 3 billion active internet users now, here are 3 charts that demonstrate the scale


There are multiple organizations coming out with research and data regarding internet penetration and other metrics. For entrepreneurs, this is important to gauge the market and scale. Of course, data collection methods and definition of each metric can be questioned but counter on InternetLiveStats crossed the 3 billion internet users mark a few days ago. The InternetLiveStats is part of the Real Time Statistics Project (Worldometers and 7 Billion World) which is an international team of developers, researchers, and analysts who are working with the goal of making statistics available in a dynamic and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world (more about them here).

InternetLiveStats extrapolates its numbers from data provided by the ITU, the World Bank, and the United Nations. based on this, We are social did a report on the number of internet users globally and here are three powerful charts from the same:

1) Global internet users currently stand at just over 3 billion. There are more than 2 billion social media accounts and more than 3.6 billion active unique users on mobile.

China has more than 650 million internet users followed by USA at above 300 million. Next in line are India, Brazil and Japan. The top 20 countries contribute to about 75% of the total penetration. Here is a chart from the Internet Society that shows the penetration in %:

2) Activity on social platforms is another huge indication. Based on the accounts that logged in at least once in the most recent 30 day reporting period, Facebook leads 1350 million users. The bars in yellow represent a social network while ones in red represent a messaging app.

Curious about QQ? Well, it is an instant messaging software developed by Chinese company Tencent Holdings Limited. QQ also offers a variety of services, including online social games, music, shopping, microblogging, and group and voice chat.

And QZone? It is a social networking website which is also developed by Tencent.

Baidu is China's Google, Sina Weibo is China's Twitter while Vkontakte is Russia's Facebook. (also developers of Whatsapp competitor Telegram)

3) Growth of mobile: According to this chart prepared by Wearesocial from GSM Intelligence data, there are more than 3.6 billion unique active mobile users in the world.

These three charts highlight the scale of these digital trends: internet penetration, growth of social and the rise of mobile (don't miss out on MobileSparks 2014)

Coming closer to home, the same data sources as above put the numbers for India at the 243 million internet users. Some important pointers followed by a presentation:

  • Penetration is rising but event now, less than 1 in 5 Indians have access to the internet.
  • Facebook alone is adding 16 million new users since January – that’s roughly one new user every second.
  • The picture for mobile is a little more complex though, with the latest data suggesting a drop in the total number of active subscriptions (however, this is likely due to SIM consolidation)
  • 70% of internet page views in India originate from mobile devices, while 87% of all Facebook users access the platform through mobile
  • 30 million people in India access Facebook through a feature phone