Mobile internet usage worldwide - statistics & facts

Mobile devices have become a fixture of every-day life for millions of people. Across the globe, web-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets have evolved into essential tools for communication, information, and entertainment alike. In 2020, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.28 billion, indicating that over 90 percent of the global internet population use a mobile device to go online. Mobile ownership and internet usage are forecast to increase in the future, as mobile technologies are becoming more affordable and available than ever. This upward trend in mobile internet adoption is particularly visible in developing digital markets where mobile networks are the primary means of internet access. Today, mobile internet traffic accounts for more than 55 percent of total web traffic, while in mobile-first markets such as Asia and Africa, mobile connections account for an even large share of webpage views.

Mobile usage trends worldwide

The mobile revolution continues to transform internet usage behavior and frequencies around the world. One of the most visible mobile usage trends is the preference for in-app experiences: In 2020, mobile app consumer spending on the Google Play and Apple App Store amounted to 102 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. The two app market leaders reported a combined 142 million app downloads that year, with social media, gaming, and messaging apps accounting for the largest share of downloads. Overall, most app categories experienced a surge in demand in 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Popular activities among mobile users

Social media is one of the most popular online activities among mobile users. For over a decade, social networks, messaging apps, and photo and video-sharing platforms have been among the leading drivers of mobile engagement globally. In 2019, the mobile social network penetration rate worldwide stood at 42 percent, which is not surprising, considering that free mobile services facilitate communication in regions that lack sufficient (digital) infrastructures. With more than 2.7 billion active users, Facebook remains the leading social network worldwide, while WhatsApp ranks first among the most popular mobile messenger apps.

Mobile media usage is transforming the digital landscape

Every year, global mobile data traffic experiences double-digit growth rates, a trend that is fueled by the rapid increase in mobile media usage. In 2020, video apps accounted for more than 66 percent of the global data volume, and by then, smartphones had long overtaken desktop computers and smart TVs as primary devices for watching online video. In line with this development, mobile SVoD subscriptions are expected to make up 40 percent of the total global subscriber count by 2025, highlighting the significant impact that mobile technologies have on global media consumption today. In addition to visual media, smartphones have also become the most widely used devices for audio entertainment, with Spotify being the most-downloaded music and audio app worldwide.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Mobile internet usage worldwide" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Mobile audiences and access

Mobile apps

Mobile social

Mobile commerce

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Mobile internet usage worldwide".

Mobile internet usage worldwide

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Mobile internet usage worldwide - statistics & facts

Mobile devices have become a fixture of every-day life for millions of people. Across the globe, web-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets have evolved into essential tools for communication, information, and entertainment alike. In 2020, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.28 billion, indicating that over 90 percent of the global internet population use a mobile device to go online. Mobile ownership and internet usage are forecast to increase in the future, as mobile technologies are becoming more affordable and available than ever. This upward trend in mobile internet adoption is particularly visible in developing digital markets where mobile networks are the primary means of internet access. Today, mobile internet traffic accounts for more than 55 percent of total web traffic, while in mobile-first markets such as Asia and Africa, mobile connections account for an even large share of webpage views.

Mobile usage trends worldwide

The mobile revolution continues to transform internet usage behavior and frequencies around the world. One of the most visible mobile usage trends is the preference for in-app experiences: In 2020, mobile app consumer spending on the Google Play and Apple App Store amounted to 102 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. The two app market leaders reported a combined 142 million app downloads that year, with social media, gaming, and messaging apps accounting for the largest share of downloads. Overall, most app categories experienced a surge in demand in 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Popular activities among mobile users

Social media is one of the most popular online activities among mobile users. For over a decade, social networks, messaging apps, and photo and video-sharing platforms have been among the leading drivers of mobile engagement globally. In 2019, the mobile social network penetration rate worldwide stood at 42 percent, which is not surprising, considering that free mobile services facilitate communication in regions that lack sufficient (digital) infrastructures. With more than 2.7 billion active users, Facebook remains the leading social network worldwide, while WhatsApp ranks first among the most popular mobile messenger apps.

Mobile media usage is transforming the digital landscape

Every year, global mobile data traffic experiences double-digit growth rates, a trend that is fueled by the rapid increase in mobile media usage. In 2020, video apps accounted for more than 66 percent of the global data volume, and by then, smartphones had long overtaken desktop computers and smart TVs as primary devices for watching online video. In line with this development, mobile SVoD subscriptions are expected to make up 40 percent of the total global subscriber count by 2025, highlighting the significant impact that mobile technologies have on global media consumption today. In addition to visual media, smartphones have also become the most widely used devices for audio entertainment, with Spotify being the most-downloaded music and audio app worldwide.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Mobile internet usage worldwide".

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