Today marks a momentous milestone for all things digital, with the new Digital in2017 Global Overview report from We Are Social and Hootsuite revealing that more than half of the world’s population now uses the internet.
Our findings have exciting implications for businesses, governments, and society in general, but they’re also testament to the speed with which digital connectivity is changing the lives of people all over the world.
It’s only been 25 years since Tim Berners-Lee made the ‘World Wide Web’ available to the public, but in that time, the internet has already become an integral part of everyday life for most of the world’s population.
It’s not just the internet that’s growing rapidly, either; we’ve identified a wealth of other important milestones as part of this year’s Global Digital report, including:
- More than half the world now uses a smartphone;
- Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone;
- More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones;
- More than half of all mobile connections around the world are now ‘broadband’;
- More than one in five of the world’s population shopped online in the past 30 days.
You’ll find loads more valuable information in the full suite of Global Digital reports too. I’ve shared a sneak preview in the SlideShare embed at the top of this post (click here to see it on SlideShare if that’s not working for you), but we’ll be publishing more focused and in-depth reports over the next few days, including:
- Digital in 2017: our main report, with more than 750 slides of valuable stats and trends;
- 2017 Digital Yearbook: headline stats and key data for more than 230 countries around the world;
- Digital in Africa 2017: regional and national data for every country in the region;
- Digital in The Americas 2017: regional and national data for every country in North, Central and South America;
- Digital in Asia-Pacific 2017: regional and national data for every country across Asia, Oceania, The Pacific and West Asia;
- Digital in Europe 2017: regional and national data for every country in the Wester, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Russia and Turkey;
- Digital in The Middle East 2017: regional and national data for every country in the region.
The good news is that you don’t need to wait to discover many of the highlights from this year’s reports though; simply read on below for the key stats, together with our analysis of what all these numbers mean for businesses and organisations in 2017.
But just before we dig into the numbers, I’d like to thank all of the organisations who provided the data to make this year’s report possible, especially:
- GlobalWebIndex, who have shared a wealth of valuable data and insights across all elements of this year’s report;
- GSMA Intelligence, who provided rich data on mobile connectivity for every country in the world, as well as the great insights from their Mobile Connectivity Index;
- Statista, who have provided rich e-commerce data from their Digital Market Outlook product;
- Akamai, who kindly shared fixed and mobile internet connectivity speed information for every country in the world, taken from their excellent State of the Internet report;
- Google, for making their enormously valuable Consumer Barometer dataset available to the public;
- StatCounter, who have provided excellent data on the share of web traffic by device for almost every country in the world;
- Ericsson, for publishing their ever-insightful Mobility Reports; and
- Niki Aghaei, for her help in collecting data for Iran, as well as sharing her fascinating insights into digital in the Middle East.
But what did all their data tell us? Let’s get stuck in…
The digital world experienced spectacular growth in 2016, with the pace of change accelerating across almost all key indicators versus 2015.