No end in sight for the internet’s growth

Feb. 19, 2021
by Mark Ollig

Tim Berners-Lee, recognized as the creator of the World Wide Web, began working on its software in 1989.

In 1990, Berners-Lee wrote the software code for a hyper-linked website on a NeXT computer made by a California company founded by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs.

WorldWideWeb is the name of the web browser code application written by Berners-Lee.

“In providing a system for manipulating this sort of information, the hope would be to allow a pool of information to develop which could grow and evolve. This is why a web of notes with links (like references) between them is far more useful than a fixed hierarchical system,” Berners-Lee wrote in March 1989.

Internet Live Stats is an analytics website that Berners-Lee has quoted.

The website claims its statistical information is gathered by “an international team of developers, researchers, and analysts with the goal of making statistics available in a dynamic and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world.”

Internet Live Stats statistics are referenced in more than 400 books, and cited in more than 150 professional journal articles, including this column.

Worldwide, there are more than 4.9 billion active internet users, and 4.2 billion people use mobile devices for accessing the internet.

Of the 2 billion websites on the planet, 191.5 million are currently active.

Every minute, people upload more than 500 hours of video to YouTube.

As of December 2019, studies by Statista report the age group with the highest number of internet users worldwide is 25 to 34 years old.

People 45 to 54 make up 14 percent, and those 55 to 64 represent 10 percent.

Folks 65 and better make up 7 percent of internet users worldwide.

Chrome is the most popular web browser, used by 65 percent of the population. Safari is second, at 16.8 percent, and Firefox comes in third, with 4.1 percent.

According to the StatCounter website, the most popular web search engines are Google, with a 92.7 percent market share; Bing, with 2.8 percent; and Yahoo, at 1.6 percent.

According to statistical data gathered by Alexa, the top 10 most popular websites on the internet are:

• Google.com.

• Youtube.com.

• Tmall.com.

• Baidu.com.

• Qq.com.

• Facebook.com.

• Sohu.com.

• Taobao.com.

• 360.cn.

• Yahoo.com.

Note: 360.cn is not missing an o for .com. The internet top-level domain abbreviation .cn is the country code abbreviation for China.

The top 10 countries with the highest number of internet users at the start of 2021:

• China, 854 million.

• India, 560 million.

• US, 313.3 million.

• Indonesia, 171.2 million.

• Brazil, 149 million.

• Nigeria, 126 million.

• Japan, 118.6 million.

• Russia, 116.3 million.

• Bangladesh, 92.2 million.

• Mexico, 88 million.

There are 35.5 million Canadian internet users as of Oct. 15, 2020, and Vatican City has 480 internet users as of Dec. 31, 2020.

I also found the top 10 most popular non-gaming apps installed on smartphones:

• Tiktok, 63.3 million.

• Zoom, 52.2 million.

• Snack Video, 43 million.

• Google Meet, 38 million.

• Instagram, 36 million.

• WhatsApp, 34 million.

• Snapchat, 24 million.

• Telegram, 22 million.

• Facebook, 20 million.

• Messenger, 17 million.

The total number of recorded internet users on the planet reached 1 billion in 2005, 2 billion in 2010, 3 billion in 2014, and 4.95 billion as of Dec. 31, 2020.

The 2020 population of the United States is estimated to be 331,002,651, with 94.65 percent having internet access.

Minnesota’s current population is a little over 5.6 million, with 85 percent having access to the internet from any location within the state.

It is predicted the world’s population to be 8.5 billion by 2030, with an estimated 7.65 billion having internet access.

By 2030, the population of the United States will have reached an estimated 360 million.

Currently, six people inhabit the International Space Station as it orbits 250 miles above the Earth. I imagine each of those folks has internet access.

By 2040, we will probably have internet users on the moon and Mars.

There appears to be no end in sight for the internet’s growth into the foreseeable future.

Stay safe out there.

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