The Internet just crossed the 4 billion user mark – and it’s propelling e-commerce forward

Mobile is huge in the Asia Pacific region with 41% of the population glued to theor mobile devices to access social media platforms.

The internet crossed the 7 billion user mark over the past 12 months, which means that 53% of the world’s population are now connected online.

Global social media usage also saw an upswing over the same period, increasing by 13% to reach 3.196 billion users, while mobile social media usage also increased by 14% year-on-year to 2.958 billion users

These are the latest figures released in a global social media and digital trends report called Digital in 2018 released by social media management platform Hootsuite and global creative agency We Are Social on Jan 30.

The report covered 239 countries and territories and using data gathered from government and platform statistics as well as research companies.

No surprises here, but mobile is huge in the Asia Pacific with 41% of the population active on social media via their mobile devices, which is a growth of 16% since January 2017.

This equates to 231 million new active mobile social users in the region where over 2 billion people are connected online.

In Singapore, where there are some 4.83 million active internet users (which make up 84% of the population), the average daily time spent connected to the internet via any device is just over seven hours, which ranks it No.13 in the world.

People in Thailand spend the most hours on the Internet with an average daily time of nine hours and 38 minutes.

Digital in 2018

Meanwhile, people spend an average of more than two hours a day on social media and the mobile phone is most common device (78%) used to access web pages.

If you’re wondering what topped Singapore’s list of Google searches last year, here are the top 20 queries:

Digital in 2018

The report also found that the global growth of the internet is fueling e-commerce and executives should dive deep into digital to meet their customers’ needs.

The proof is in the numbers: Some 1.77 billion internet users purchased consumer goods online in 2017 – an increase of 8% compared to the previous year.

Collectively, consumers spent a total of $1.474 trillion on e-commerce platforms in the past 12 months, which was 16% more than in 2016.

Hoostuite’s chief marketing officer Ms Penny Wilson said in a statement that the report highlights the continuing growth of the internet and social media to individuals and businesses globally.

“This dynamic has forever altered the customer journey as consumers and B2B professionals increasingly conduct research, make buying decisions, seek support and recommend brands online.”