Daily online usage plays a significant role in the everyday lives of consumers worldwide. The internet has changed the way humans interact and reshaped traditional communications media such as film, television, music, and telephone. The emergences of new digital technologies and websites have accelerated forms of human interaction through online forums, instant messaging, and social networking. The rise of social media has changed the notion of online communications and the divide of the personal and public online space. The mainstreaming of internet features, such as digital music and video, user-generated content, and digital media sales, have caused traditional media consumption to undergo significant changes. The internet has also irrevocably impacted retail: the growth of e-commerce has not only forced brick-and-mortar sellers to adapt to new digital sales channels but has also enabled small and independent business owners to pursue their business ventures across local borders.

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  • Number of internet and social media users worldwide as of April 2024 (in billions)
    Apr 24, 2024

    As of April 2024, there were 5.44 billion internet users worldwide, which amounted to 67.1 percent of the global population. Of this total, 5.07 billion, or 62.6 percent of the world's population, were social media users. 

    Global internet usage

    Connecting billions of people worldwide, the internet is a core pillar of the modern information society. Northern Europe ranked first among worldwide regions by the share of the population using the internet in 2023. In Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, 99 percent of the population used the internet as of April 2023. North Korea was at the opposite end of the spectrum, with virtually no internet usage penetration among the general population, ranking last worldwide.

    Asia was home to the largest number of online users worldwide – over 2.93 billion at the latest count. Europe ranked second, with around 750 million internet users. China, India, and the United States rank ahead of other countries worldwide by the number of internet users.

    Worldwide internet user demographics

    As of 2022, the share of female internet users worldwide was 63 percent, six percent less than that of men. Gender disparity in internet usage was bigger in the Arab States and Africa, with around a ten percent difference. Worldwide regions, like the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe, showed a smaller gender gap. As of 2022, global internet usage was higher among individuals between 15 and 24 years across all regions, with young people in Europe representing the most significant usage penetration, 98 percent. In comparison, the worldwide average for the age group 15-24 years was 75 percent. The income level of the countries was also an essential factor for internet access, as 92 percent of the population of the countries with high income reportedly used the internet, as opposed to only 26 percent of the low-income markets.

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  • Global internet penetration rate as of April 2024, by region
    Apr 24, 2024

    As of April 2024, Northern Europe ranked first by the internet penetration rate, with over 97.4 percent of its population using the internet. Northern America followed, with 96.9 percent. Overall, the global average internet penetration rate was roughly 67.1 percent. 

    Global internet use

    The ongoing development of telecommunication networks and infrastructure has directly impacted internet penetration on a global scale. Thanks to advancing mobile technology and the continuous modernization of previously less-developed regions, the number of internet users worldwide has been on the rise in recent years, reaching 5.3 billion as of October 2023. In the world-wide-web, Google's Chrome still holds the largest market share for internet browsers, roughly 62.82 percent of the total market as of May 2023, followed by Apple's Safari at nearly 21 percent.

    Majority of global internet users are in Asia

    Asia has the most extensive internet user base – more than an estimated 2.9 billion internet users in this region alone – with East Asia accounting for most of this share. Despite this region's large volume of internet users, Asia is far from being a leader regarding online penetration. Eastern Asia, for instance, had an online penetration rate of 75.3 percent as of April 2023.

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  • Most popular social networks worldwide as of April 2024, by number of monthly active users (in millions)
    Apr 24, 2024

    Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass one billion registered accounts and currently sits at more than three billion monthly active users. Meta Platforms owns four of the biggest social media platforms, all with more than one billion monthly active users each: Facebook (core platform), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. In the third quarter of 2023, Facebook reported around four billion monthly core Family product users.

    The United States and China account for the most high-profile social platforms

    Most top ranked social networks with more than 100 million users originated in the United States, but services like Chinese social networks WeChat, QQ or video sharing app Douyin have also garnered mainstream appeal in their respective regions due to local context and content. Douyin’s popularity has led to the platform releasing an international version of its network: a little app called TikTok.

    How many people use social media?

    The leading social networks are usually available in multiple languages and enable users to connect with friends or people across geographical, political, or economic borders. In 2022, Social networking sites are estimated to reach 3.96 billion users and these figures are still expected to grow as mobile device usage and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction in previously underserved markets.

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  • Global social network penetration rate as of April 2024, by region
    Apr 24, 2024

    As of April 2024, Northern and Western Europe were the regions with the highest social network penetration rates globally, reaching 80.2 and 78.2 percent, respectively. Eastern Asia ranked third with a penetration rate of 74.9 percent, followed by Southern Europe with 73.5 percent. In contrast, Eastern and Middle Africa were the regions with the lowest reach, with 10.5 and 9.9 percent. Overall, the global average was 62.2 percent, which translates to almost six out of every ten people around the world using social networks. The regions below the global average were located in Africa and Asia, as well as Oceania and the Caribbean. 

    Global social media use

    In 2023, 4.89 billion people around the world were using social media, and the number of users is projected to continue rising to almost six billion by 2027. Meta’s Facebook is the most popular social media network globally, with more than three billion monthly active users (MAU). Meta Platforms owns four of the ten leading social media networks globally, each with more than one billion MAU: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.

    Social Media Usage, by country

    As of January 2024, the UAE had the highest social media penetration rate out of selected countries and territories. Brazil and Morocco were close to the global average of 62.3 percent, with 66.3 and 55.7 percent, respectively, while Kenya reached only 23.5 percent. Although India’s active social media penetration rate was below average at 32.2 percent, the country had the second largest social media audience in the world, with 755 million social media users in 2022.

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  • Instagram accounts with the most followers worldwide as of April 2024 (in millions)
    Apr 18, 2024

    Cristiano Ronaldo has one of the most popular Instagram accounts as of April 2024. The Portuguese footballer is the most-followed person on the photo sharing app platform with 628 million followers. Instagram's own account was ranked first with roughly 672 million followers.

    How popular is Instagram? Instagram is a photo-sharing social networking service that enables users to take pictures and edit them with filters. The platform allows users to post and share their images online and directly with their friends and followers on the social network. The cross-platform app rached one billion monthly active users in mid-2018. In 2020, there were over 114 million Instagram users in the United States and experts project this figure to surpass 127 million users in 2023.

    Who uses Instagram? Instagram audiences are predominantly young – recent data states that almost 60 percent of U.S. Instagram users are aged 34 years or younger. Fall 2020 data reveals that Instagram is also one of the most popular social media for teens and one of the social networks with the biggest reach among teens in the United States.

    Celebrity influencers on Instagram Many celebrities and athletes are brand spokespeople and generate additional income with social media advertising and sponsored content. Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo ranked first again, as the average media value of one of his Instagram posts was 985,441 U.S. dollars.

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  • Biggest revenue source of leading online and tech companies in most recently reported quarter ending June 2023
    Aug 31, 2023

    As of the most recent fiscal quarter ending June 2023, a whopping 98.4 percent of Meta's revenue was generated through advertising. Approximately 48.5 percent of Apple's revenue came from a single device, the iPhone. Amazon had the relatively speaking more diverse product portfolio, as only 39.4 percent of revenue came from it's strongest performing segment, Online Store Sales.

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  • Leading online companies ranked by revenue from 2017 to 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)
    Mar 15, 2024

    In 2022, global online platform Google generated 279.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenues. Online retail company Amazon was ranked first with over 513.98 billion U.S. dollars in annual revenues, up from 469.8 billion U.S. dollars in the previous year.

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  • Number of mobile app downloads worldwide from 2016 to 2023 (in billions)
    Jan 10, 2024

    While the number of downloads kept increasing between 2016 to 2022. However, in 2023, the global app downloads stagnated, reaching 257 billion downloads and experienced only a one percent year-over-year increase.

    The app market Mobile apps are projected to generate more than 613 billion U.S. dollars in revenues in 2025, with mobile games making up the biggest revenue share among all app categories. In 2020, gaming and video made up the largest shares of the mobile content market for the year. The ePublishing and education sectors still saw a limited market for their mobile content, despite the increase in apps usage brought by the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting regular school system settings.

    App monetization: a changing landscape As an indispensable part of the smartphone experience, the largest number of apps in the major app stores are free to download. However, in recent years, the growth of global consumer spending on apps has shown users’ healthy appetite for premium services or paid app content. In the second quarter of 2021, Android consumers have spent an average of 5.31 U.S. dollars per handset, after peaking in the last quarter of 2020 reaching an average of 10.6 U.S. dollars per mobile device. As of September 2021, the number of paid apps has shrunk to make up only six percent and four percent of the total numbers in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, respectively. In comparison, apps offering subscription plans are becoming increasingly popular in the monetization landscape. In 2020, the leading subscription apps in the Apple App Store generated more than 10 million U.S. dollars in global revenues.

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  • Leading iPhone apps in the Apple App Store worldwide in June 2023, by revenue (in million U.S. dollars)
    Jul 18, 2023

    In June 2023, ByteDance-developed social video apps DouYin and TikTok were top-grossing iPhone apps in the Apple App Store worldwide, generating roughly 372 million U.S. dollars and 324 million U.S. dollars in revenues. Japanese comic reading app Piccoma came in third, with over 228.3 million U.S. dollars in revenues. Honor of Kings ranked fourth, generating approximately 165.75 million U.S. dollars in revenues from iPhone users.

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  • Most popular YouTube channels as of June 2024, ranked by number of subscribers (in millions)
    Jul 4, 2024

    What is the most subscribed YouTube channel?

    MrBeast made the first place in the ranking of the most-subscribed YouTube channels in June 2024. With 296 million subscribers, the U.S. based videographer and internet personality managed to surpass Indian music network T-Series, which held the number one place for several years, and sat at 268 million subscriber as of the examined period.

    How many hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute?

    YouTube was launched in 2005 as a platform for sharing user-generated videos such as vlogs, tutorials, or original series. The site grew rapidly and reportedly had 100 million video views per day and more than 65 thousand daily uploads only a year later. As of February 2020, more than 500 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute, up from a mere 24 hours of content uploads per minute in 2010.

    YouTube Partner Program

    In the third quarter of 2022, YouTube’s ad revenue amounted to over seven billion U.S. dollars. Through its Partner Program, YouTube also rewards uploaders of popular videos with a share of the advertising revenues the content generates. This, paired with the fact that many users of the video sharing platform tend to have favorite channels that they revisit regularly, has given rise to another phenomenon: YouTube celebrities. Although some of these well-known figures were discovered on the website but then carved a successful career outside of YouTube, for many others the site is their primary platform for delivering content and staying in contact with fans, all while signing lucrative deals or promotional partnerships.

    Highest earning YouTubers

    In November 2022, MrBeast surpassed long-standing most subscribed YouTuber PewDiePie, having reached approximately 112 million subscribers. Due to the high number of subscribers and even higher number of views, these out-of-the-box stars not only have millions of fans, but also considerable earnings from their YouTube activities. In 2021, MrBeast was estimated to have earned around 54 million U.S. dollars, topping the ranking of the highest-earning YouTube creators. The ranking also included social media personality Jake Paul and Mark Fischbach, as well as Ryan Kaji from Ryan's World (formerly known as ToysReview), who started his YouTube career reviewing toys at three years old.

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Industry Definition

Statista offers a wide range of statistics, facts, and market data on the global internet landscape. The platform presents an overview of the most relevant internet adoption figures, including online reach and penetration rates, online traffic volumes, and the number of internet users on a global and regional scale. In addition, the database provides insights into the segments and industries shaping online experiences around the world.

In this section, Statista users will find up-to-date information on internet demographics and online usage. Rankings of the most popular websites, social media platforms, mobile apps, and online games are available alongside information on online video content and entertainment. On top of that, Statista provides financial data, market shares, and other key metrics for the world’s most successful internet companies and tech conglomerates. This information is complemented with reports on cyber crime, mobile devices, and digital technologies.

More interesting topics from the industry "Internet"

Demographics & Use

Mobile Internet & Apps

Online Video & Entertainment

Social Media & User-Generated Content

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