Q4 2019: The Internet With 4.47 Billion Users, With Social Media Users Still Climbing


In the 'Digital 2019 Q4 Global Digital Statshot report' from We Are Social and Hootsuite, there are highlights for those who are interested in internet statistics.

The first would be the number of internet users.

Around the world, people who are connected to internet accounted to 400 million higher that it was this time in 2018, representing annual growth of 10 percent. With 4.47 billion internet users, less that 3.3 billion people are yet to be connected.

However, it should be noted that the number has been influenced by a new raw of data published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), meaning that the growth is likely due to more accuracy and timely reporting.

The growth in the ITU’s data largely came come from emerging economies – especially across Africa. For this reason, it's a signal that the continent is expecting a whole new wave of growth across all kinds of connected behaviors in the foreseeable future.

As for the number of social media users, the numbers have also surged this quarter, with the key driver of the growth coming from India.

For example, WhatsApp reported that it has more than 400 million users in the country. These figures suggest that almost 30 percent of India’s total population already uses WhatsApp each month.

What’s more, even with the number of mobile internet subscribers in India are growing at a rate of more than 250,000 every day, there are still room for more growth potential.

And for the largest social media Facebook, its overall growth has somehow stagnated. The platform added just 8 million new users between July and September 2019. At just 0.4 percent, this quarterly growth rate is significantly lower than the 3 percent growth in advertising audience numbers that the platform delivered in the second quarter of this year.

Facebook also reported this on its own advertising tools, saying that advertisers can reach fewer people in the United States and Indonesia, if compared to this time three months ago.

Facebook’s advertising tools indicate that advertisers can reach 2.6 percent fewer users aged 13 to 17 compared to the second quarter of 2019, and 2 percent fewer users aged 18 to 24.

Despite its slowing growth and decreasing number of young users, Facebook is still having the largest youth audience of any social media networks in the world.

With that, Facebook is still the social media with the most advertising reach.

According to the report, Facebook's advertising audiences accounted to 1.9 billion. That is more than twice of that on Instagram, which only had 879 million. The two were followed by LinkedIn (653 million), Snapchat (360 million), and Twitter (260 million).

And as for the internet connection speed, data from Ookla suggested that the promise of 5G has not been exaggerated. As the first to have launched 5G, South Korea experienced an average 5G speed of 95.11Mbps in September.

In comparison, that is about 40% faster than the average mobile download speed in second-placed Qatar.

However, Korea actually saw a slight drop in mobile download speeds in September, and if we look at mobile connection speeds across the third quarter of 2019 as a whole, the average Korean mobile internet connection actually exceeded 100Mbps.

That’s more than double the speeds that South Korea’s mobile users enjoyed just this time last year.

South Korea's 5G networks were initially established by SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplusm. It went live just hours before Verizon U.S. launched its own 5G.

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