In Australia, where the vast majority of the population are on the internet, it can be easy to forget that this isn’t the case for the rest of the world. According to 2017 statistics, it is only now, roughly 20 years after the widespread availability of the internet to the average Australian, that half the world is finally online.
This infographic illustrates the unevenness of internet, social and mobile uptake around the world. Ten percent more of Earth’s population began using the internet in the 2016-17 period. Social media grew at more than double that rate, to 2.8 billion users, or 37% of the world. Even more meteorically, those that use social media via smartphones rose by almost a third. With 2.5 billion mobile social media users, that’s a staggering rate of 18 new users a second.
The Asia-Pacific region is one of the fastest growing areas for internet and mobile take-up, with almost half the world’s internet users from that region alone. The 2016-2017 figures show a real push to go digital. Of the 10% growth in internet users over the last year, 70% were from Asia-Pacific. Social media and mobile social use made up similarly large percentages of the overall world’s growth.
This is important as by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s middle-class consumers – around 2.3 billion people – will be from Asia. Businesses looking to make an impact here should take note. PwC’s 20th CEO Survey found that Australian CEOs had somewhat backed away from doing business in the region, an ultimately unsustainable action given the rising technological population.