Since the first website was launched in 1991, the Internet has grown and evolved exponentially. From a mere curiosity, it has become a world-wide necessity. Here’s all the information you need to know about just how big the Internet has gotten.
A Worldwide Phenomenon
It took the Internet 7 years to reach 50 million people. In contrast, it took cable television 10 years to reach that mark – television took 13 years and radio took a whopping 38 years to meet that same goal.
Only 18 countries in the world still have no Internet access. Of the overwhelming majority that do, the United States and China lead the world in Internet usage, cornering 13% to 21% of the world’s use of the Internet. In fact, 3 out of 4 Americans use the Internet regularly. India and Japan follow with 4.7%-5.5%, followed by Germany and Brazil at 3.1%-3.9% and France, Russia, the UK, and South Korea at 2.2%-2.7%.
In 2010, there were 1.8 billion Internet users worldwide. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to 5 billion Internet users across the globe.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
When it comes to the sheer volume of information stored on the web, the numbers are staggering. 1,673,000 terrabytes of information are created and stored on the web each year. By comparison, it would take 360,212,766 single-sided DVDs to contain that same amount of information. 16.91 billion webpages exist as of February 2011. Internet traffic will grow to 44 extabytes in 2012, which is more than twice the amount for 2011. On average, there are 1 billion devices connected to the Internet.
But the information being shared isn’t just data; the Internet has become the premier source for sharing photos and interacting online. Flickr hosted 5 billion photos in 2010 alone, and Facebook sees over 3 billion photos uploaded per month.
But what exactly makes up the Internet? Are shopping sites the biggest draw or is it social networking? The Internet breaks down like so:
119 million ecommerce and business websites;
4.3 million entertainment websites;
3.1 million finance related websites; and
1.8 million sports related websites.
In fact, of the 250 million websites out there, 80 million are .coms. The .com business now brings in over $400 billion annually.
Are .coms the only dominant type of website out there? .coms do dominate the field at over 80 million, followed closely by country codes (.us, .de, etc) at 79.2 million, 13.2 million .net names, and 8.6 million .org names.
The Internet has certainly boomed since its inception in 1995, when a mere 16 million people used the net. While its growth was steady throughout the 1990s, the boom really took place between the years 2000 and 2009, when the number of Internet users grew by 399.3%. This Internet revolution has completely transformed the way we share information, and will continue to do so well into the future as Internet growth continues to go wild.