Global Internet Trends 2018: Almost 4.18 Billion Humans Are Online, 3.4 Billion Are Active Social Media Users

The new Q4 report of 2018 Global Digital Trends published by Hootsuite and We are Social reveals that the “Next Billion” is rapidly becoming a reality as more and more users are connecting via the internet from developing countries.

We are all aware that the internet rapidly took over the world. Besides providing us with ease of communication, internet opened new gateways of entertainment, convenience, and comfort.

Yearly reports have long since established that the number of internet users is growing each year. The same was evident in the Q4 report of 2018 that reveals that almost 4.2 billion humans are online in which 3.4 billion are active social media users.

There are almost 4.2 billion internet users around the world in October 2018, up 7 percent since this time last year. Around 3.4 billion people around the world used social media in September 2018, up 10 percent versus September 2017. More than 5.1 billion people now use a mobile phone, with most using a smartphone.

The same report also shows that more and more users are connecting via mobile devices. In fact, from the 5.11 billion mobile internet users, 3.17 billion are active social mobile users too.

The battle of social media

The war between the leading social media platforms continues in 2018 as well with Facebook leading the pack despite the numerous controversies and scandals it faced during the past year. In fact, the social media site managed to add more than 38 million in the three months to June representing 1.7 growth per quarter.
Related: Ruling Social Media and Internet: It’s All About the Images (Infographic)
Social media platforms: Active monthly users worldwide

After Facebook – YouTube and Whatsapp manage to hold the number two and three positions in the list of most active social media platforms.

Privacy concerns vary by country

Although there are no clear trends that show why some countries have more internet privacy concerns than others, the Q4 report does show that internet users of Spain have the greatest fear of their private data being breached.

Privacy fears have been a recurring theme throughout 2018, so we’re pleased to include some new insights from Statista in this new report. The company’s most recent Global Consumer Survey found that 42 percent of the world’s internet users fear that their data is being “misused” online, although – once again – there are some significant differences across cultures.

Global mobile app trends

Similar to the Q3, the app industry continues to grow with more than 29 billion apps reported to be downloaded. The report also shows that approximately $20 billion is spent on mobile apps that equals roughly $3.70 for every smartphone in use today.

Above all, mobile games seem to be a popular choice amongst internet users and accumulate the majority of share from the above revenue.

It’s been a good few months for mobile apps developers and industry, with App Annie reporting some impressive stats in its latest quarterly round-up.  Of particular note is the fact that the total amount of money spent on mobile apps around the world in Q3 reached $20 billion, up 20 percent versus this time last year.

Global share of web traffic by device:

Share of web traffic by device highly favours mobiles and smartphones at 51.6 percent, while Desktop remains in second spot with almost 44 percent of device share to all web pages served to web browsers.

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