Worldwide Digital Trends 2018

| By Terence Brake

The average internet user now spends around 6 hours each day using internet-powered devices and services, i.e. one third of their waking lives.  Added together for all 4 billion of the world’s internet users, we’ll spend 1 billion years online in 2018.

Key Digital Usage Stats

  • With faster download speeds, the average smartphone user around the world now consumes almost 3GB of data every month – an increase more than 50% since last year.
  • The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13% year-on-year.
  • The number of mobile phone users in 2018 is 5.135 billion, up 4% year-on-year.
  • Share of web traffic by device highly favors mobile at 52% (+4% year-on-year change).  Desktop remains in second place with only 43% of device share to all web pages, down by 3% year-on-year.
  • The global increase in social media usage since January 2017 is 13%.
  • Almost 1 million people started using social media for the first time every day over the past year, i.e. more than 11 new users every second. 
  • We are seeing larger numbers of older users joining social media.  On Facebook, for example, the number of users aged 65+ has increased by almost 20% in the last 12 months
  • Saudi Arabia has the largest year-on-year increase in social media users since January 2017 (32%) – a 17% increase compared to the global average.
  • Other countries with the largest social media usage increase includes India (31%), Indonesia (23%), Ghana (22%), and South Africa and Vietnam (20%).
  • The U.A.E (2%), South Korea (3%), and the U.K. (5%) have the slowest increases.

Worldwide Internet Usage

The number of internet users worldwide in 2018 is 4.021 billion, up 7% year-on-year.

Regions with the highest internet penetration are:

  • Northern Europe - 94%
  • Western Europe - 90%
  • Northern America – 88%
  • Southern Europe – 77%
  • Eastern Europe – 74%

Regions with the lowest internet penetration are:

  • The Caribbean – 48%
  • Western Africa – 39%
  • Southern Asia – 36%
  • Eastern Africa – 27%
  • Middle Africa – 12%

Social Media Trends

Key Social Media Stats

  • Facebook’s core platform still dominates the global social landscape, with total users up 15% year-on-year to reach almost 2.17 billion users at the start of 2018.
  • WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both grew twice as fast as the core Facebook platform; the number of people using each messenger app is up 30% year-on-year.
  • WhatsApp has a stronger geographic position; it is the top messenger app in 128 countries compared to Facebook messenger’s 72.
  • Instagram was the standout growth story of the last 12 months; the number of global users was up by a third.

Social Media Usage Times

For the last three years, Filipinos spend the greatest amount of time on social media; the average user in the Philippines spends 3 hours and 57 mins on social media every day.  Other high use countries of social media are:

  • Brazil – 3 hours and 39 mins
  • Indonesia - 3 hours and 23 mins
  • Thailand - 3 hours and 10 mins
  • Argentina – 3 hours and 9 mins
  • Egypt – 3 hours and 9 mins

Low use countries of social media are:

  • France – 1 hour and 22 mins
  • Netherlands – 1 hour and 20 mins
  • Germany – 1 hour and 13 mins
  • South Korea – 1 hour and 12 mins
  • Japan – 48 mins

Mobile Connection Speeds

Mobile connection speeds increased by more than 30 percent over the past year.  There are, however, significant differences in mobile connection speeds between countries.

Fastest Mobile Connections

All speeds in MBPS

  1. Norway                                    61.2
  2. Malta                                        54.4
  3. Netherlands                            54.2
  4. Singapore                                54.0
  5. United Arab Emirates            50.2
  6. Iceland                                      50.1
  7. Australia                                   48.9
  8. Hungary                                    48.6
  9. Canada                                      45.6
  10. Luxembourg                             45.5

Slowest Mobile Connections

All speeds in MBPS

  1. Ukraine                                       8.1
  2. Venezuela                                  7.9
  3. Algeria                                        7.4
  4. Bosnia & Herzegovina             7.2
  5. Afghanistan                               6.7
  6. Uzbekistan                                 6.6
  7. Tajikistan                                    5.6
  8. Bangladesh                                 5.2
  9. Libya                                            4.2
  10. Iraq                                              4.2

Primary Source: We Are Social Digital Report

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