Understanding the digital market is important for most businesses in the current age. For IAB in Singapore, Simon Kemp (2015) produced a report into digital, mobile and social in the Asia Pacific region in 2015 to gain a better understanding of the state of affairs in the digital market.
While the report emphasises Asia Pacific, significant energy is placed into the global market, which helps offer a big picture comprehension. This, a focus on the global situation rather than on Asia Pacific, is the topic of this two part series.
Some starter figures in understanding the global situation include the fact that the world has a population of 7.219 billion at the current time, and 53% of us live in urban areas. Worldwide there are 3.038 billion internet users, and 2.126 billion social media users. This means that internet use has spread to 42% of the global population, and social media to 29%. Turning to unique mobile users, there are 3.679 billion, and this represents a penetration of 3.679 billion. Meanwhile active mobile social users comprise 1.753 billion of the global population, or 24% of us.
All of this is compared globally in an interesting and informative way. It is shown for example that North America has 5% of the world’s population, and 5% of the mobile users, but 10% of internet users overall. Meanwhile Western Europe has 6% of the global population, 11% of internet users, and 9% of social media users as well as 7% of the mobile users of the world. Asia is sharply contrasted with these geographies. For example, in East Asia there are significantly more people (22%), and also 27% of the world’s internet users, 22% of the mobile users and 33% of the social media users. Meanwhile South Asia has 23% of the population, 11% of the internet users, 18% of the mobile users and just 8% of the social media users.
There is also sharp contrast with regard to internet penetration between regions. North America has an internet penetration of 88%, and West Europe, 81%. Oceania has a 69% internet penetration. Yet figures in the rest of the world are significantly different than this. For example, in Central America, there is a 43% penetration, and South America, 56%. Meanwhile, Africa has only a 26% penetration of internet use. Looking at Asian regions broken down, in Central Asia there is a 39% internet penetration, while in South Asia it is 19%. Meanwhile East Asia sees 52% of its population with internet access, and South East Asia, 36%.
Global internet usage figures are phenomenal too, and also outlined in the report. For example, 205 billion emails are estimated to be sent each day. The number of Google searches each day is 3.5 billion, while a tremendously large 8.4 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. As well as this, people are connecting in a big way online using Skype, with 145 million calls being made globally by this medium every single day.
The report allows also a comparison of social media use worldwide, looking at the different figures in the various regions. As explained earlier, the global average of social media use is 29% of the world’s population. Yet this is skewed by very significant use in some regions, and much less use in others.
North America has a 59% use rate, with Central America sitting at 39% and South America at 49%. Moving across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, 47% of people in West Europe use social media, compared to East Europe, where 1% less do, at 46%. In Oceania the figures are very similar to this with 45% using social media. Yet the picture is very starkly different in Africa and South Asia, since in both of these places only 10% use social media. In the Middle East, 18% do, while in South East Asia it is 34%.
East Asia figures are not dissimilar to those of Europe, with 43% using social media there. By far the greatest used platform of all of these is Facebook with 1,415 million users. Three billion videos are watched on Facebook every day. WhatsApp is also used a lot, with 829 million users and 30 billion messages sent via this app every day. Other significant platforms include Qzone, Facebook messenger, WeChat, Skype and Instagram. In the case of the latter, the number of photos and videos uploaded on Instagram every day is 70 million.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.