In the 2018 Q4 Global Digital Statshot report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, it's concluded that there are almost 4.2 billion internet users around the world in October 2018, or up seven percent since this time in 2017.
68 million people came online for the first time between July to September 2018, which a growth of more than 1.5 percent in just three months. Most of them are coming from Africa and South Asia who came online for the first time using mobile phones.
On the social media side, the quarter’s report shows a decline in social media audiences, especially among younger Facebook users.
Despite that, social media users in general are growing faster. There are around 3.4 billion people around the world using social media in September 2018, up 10 percent versus September 2017.
Between 2017 and October 2018, there were 320 million new users signing up, with most coming from mobile devices. Almost one million people started using social media from their mobile devices for the first time over the past year.
As for mobile users, there are more than 5.1 billion people using mobile phone, with most using a smartphone.
This translates to a growing usage of mobile data, with average global smartphone user consuming more than 3.8GB of mobile data each month. On average, those people spend about $20 billion on apps in the past three months alone.
That’s equivalent to more than $150,000 every minute between July and September.
This correlates with GSMA Intelligence report that shows that more than two-third of the world's population owns a mobile phone, with roughly 60 percent of them owning a smartphone.
As for the global internet traffic, mobile still accounts to more than half. However, the share of traffic coming from desktops and laptops has increase by 2 percent over the past year.
Most notable decline came from tablets.
Report from Google’s Consumer Barometer suggested that people are five times more likely to use their mobile phones over a computer or a tablet when it comes to accessing the web. This is especially true for quick internet searches, checking the weather, and app usage. But when it comes to work-related tasks, people are still relying on desktop or laptop.
These activities account to a sizeable share of overall web traffic.
Differences in connection speed in different places around the globe also play a meaningful role in influencing which devices people use, with the average fixed internet connection still twice as fast as its mobile equivalent.