The D.R. ranks poorly in terms of fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the Caribbean, and the average download speed has been decreasing in recent years. More than two thirds of the web traffic in the country is generated by laptop and desktop computers, most probably because the mobile internet penetration rate is low even in comparison to that of other countries in the region, such as Venezuela, Guyana, and Jamaica.
Yet the Dominican Republic has one of the largest numbers of active social media users in the Caribbean (6.4 million), second only to Cuba. Moreover, less than one fifth of Dominicans distance themselves from social networking online. Whereas Facebook alone accounts for almost 80 percent of all mobile social media website visits in the country, YouTube ranks first when it comes to desktop visits at 38 percent. The usage of WhatsApp has been increasing as well, with approximately four out of five inhabitants of the D.R. reporting use of the messaging app.
E-commerce revenue in the Dominican Republic is likewise on the rise, amounting to 744 million U.S. dollars in 2019, and forecast to surpass one billion dollars by 2021. The number of online shoppers in the country continues to rise and is set to reach 6.2 million by 2020. However, nearly seven out of ten Dominican internet users have asked a friend or relative to shop online for them, largely because they did not have an account on an e-commerce website or could not collect a purchase. While internet usage in the D.R. still faces problems, the country’s gaps indicate plenty of opportunities for new enterprises.