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Internet Population Passes One Billion

| 26 Jan 2009 18:00
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There are more than one billion people on the internet as of December 2008, according to a new report. And none of them want to play Tabula Rasa.

You're one in a billion. As of last month, the number of people on the internet surpassed one billion, according to a report by comScore. The study counted people 15 or older who go online from home and work computers. China led the world's population of netizens, with 197.7 million users, with the United States following close behind with 163.3 million. Trailing by a good 100 million behind the U.S. is Japan, which boasts 60 million people, and then Germany, which boasts 37 million.

The global view tells a slightly different story. In terms of worldwide internet audience, Asia Pacific is on top with 41.3%, followed by Europe with 28.0%, North America with 18.4%, and then Latin America with 7.4% and the Middle East and Africa only 4.8%. As TechCrunch notes, even though a billion seems like a impressive figure, when we think about the big picture, only a small percentage (15 to 22% depending on who you ask) of the world's population is online.

Still, a billion's nothing to scoff at, if you ask comScore. "Surpassing one billion global users is a significant landmark in the history of the Internet," Magid Abraham, president and CEO of comScore, said. "It is a monument to the increasingly unified global community in which we live and reminds us that the world truly is becoming more flat. The second billion will be online before we know it, and the third billion will arrive even faster than that, until we have a truly global network of interconnected people and ideas that transcend borders and cultural boundaries."

comScore also tracked the most popular properties online worldwide. Google sites are the most popular, with a 77% reach of the total worldwide internet audience, followed by Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL and Wikimedia. Facebook might be the most increasingly popular property on the Internet today, with 22% percent reach and 222 million visitors, a huge 127% increase form last year's statistics.

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