Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report for 2019 has put India as the second largest country with internet users in the world, just behind China. According to the report, the global internet user base has reached almost 3.8 billion which is more than half of the world’s population.
The global internet penetration has increased from 24 percent in 2009 to 51 percent in 2018 which is significant. However, despite the growth, there has been a year-on-year slowdown in the number of internet users during the same time period. The number has dipped from 7 percent in 2017, to 1 percent.
Where China holds 21 percent of the global internet user base, India has 12 percent and US has 8 percent of the same. The Asia Pacific region was seen harbouring 53 percent of the total internet using population.
The report also shows that there has been a drop in the global smartphone shipments since 2010. Additionally, there has been a gradual disappearance of other smartphone platforms, apart from Android and iOS.
The report also states that 2016 recorded the highest smartphone shipments since 2009. Although, there has been a 4 percent year-on-year drop since then.
Also, in terms if applications used on the internet per day, Facebook has maintained a constant lead at the top garnering 30 percent of the internet population since the second quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018.
It was also surprising to see that none of the Indian companies made it to the top 30 list of the most valuable compaies in the world. Currently, Microsoft holds the top spot on that list and recently crossed the $1 trillion mark.
Reliance Jio also featured in the report, having amassed a substantial offline retail platform, corresponding to its large online user base.
Jio is looking to integrate its physical retail market with its digital infrastructure which has seen a constant growth ever since its inception.
The report also shows a astronomical growth in data usage on its network which was recorded to be as high as 17 exabytes (1 exabyte equals 1 million terabytes) at the end of March 2018.
" This platform will bring together a footfall of 350 million customers at Reliance Retail stores, 307 million on Jio network & 30 million small merchants all over India who provide the last-mile physical market connectivity." - Mukesh Ambani – Chairman, Reliance Industries
Since 2014, there has been an increase in the user base of encrypted messaging apps. Currently, apps like Telegram, iMessage, WhatsApp offer default end-to-end encryption while Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Gmail keep that feature as optional. However, Twitter and WeChat still don’t offer end-to-end encryption.
The report also mentions there has been a 34 percent increase in the amount of data traffic that has been encrypted on the web.
Also, 55 percent of the internet users live in a country where political, social or religious content is blocked. Subsequently, 47 percent live in a country where government internet surveillance power has increased over the past year.
There have also been cases where the government has disconnected the internet/mobile networks often for political purposes, the report mentions.
The report also shows that the most common reason for users to try out any new internet service is the “Free Trial” option it offers. A staggering 42 percent people choose the option because of this.
The report shows that 38 percent of people choose the service because of the content while 29 percent choose it because of access to exclusive content.
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