Big data is changing the future of the Internet. The World Wide Web existed long before “big data” became a household term. However, the two concepts have become virtually inseparable in recent years.
The internet is perhaps our greatest modern medium. It connects people across the globe, fuels the spread of information, propels creative thinking, and keeps us updated on what’s going on in the world around us. It’s hard to imagine what it was like before we had constant internet access if you were born any time before 2000, but life as we know it today pretty much revolves around this digital community.
Big data has made the Internet even more useful in recent years. Prensa y Eventos of Comscore has written about the relevance of big data for the Internet. Eventos points out that 92% of all data has been created in just the past two years. Since so much of it was produced on the Internet, it is playing a key role in the direction of Internet technology.
While the idea of an “internet”, or network of connected networks, has been around since the 1950s/60s, the internet as we know it today was born around 1983. Since then, it has evolved into a massive powerhouse of information four billion users strong. This wouldn’t have been possible without big data.
What does the future hold for the internet? As AI technology advances, it’s difficult to say how the internet might evolve in the era of big data, but what we do know is that it’s here to stay. Here are some internet stats to show just how embedded the internet is in our modern culture.
1. Around Four Billion People Are Active On The Internet Today
As of this moment, the world population is somewhere around 7.7 billion; and about four billion of those have access to the internet. That’s pretty much half the people on the planet! This shows us two things: how far-reaching the internet truly is, and that it’s not just a luxury, but a necessary utility to modern-day life.
With so many internet users, we’ve created a massive network of interconnected cultures, societies, and ideas. While the culmination of such information and ideas is sometimes negative, more often than not, there’s a positive effect.
The more we spread information and learn about other peoples’ ways of life around the globe, the greater our global awareness becomes. The internet has brought us all closer together, turning a giant, expansive planet into a much smaller world. That’s pretty impressive!
2. Most People Access The Internet Through A Mobile Device
Out of those four-billion-something internet users in the world, around 72% of them will access the internet solely through a smartphone or other mobile device by 2025. Does this mean that computers/laptops/etc. are being phased out? For personal use, yes. It seems that the average household no longer has a desktop or laptop, but they’re still widely used to run businesses all over the globe. Students also use computers for learning exercises and research, but smartphones and other mobile devices are simply more convenient. Think about it; if you could have access to the internet via a handheld device rather than trucking around a laptop, wouldn’t you?
While there are several statistics on internet and smartphone usage, the average usage by adults in the US seems to be around six hours per day. If there are 24 hours in one day, that means we’re spending one-quarter of our days online!
3. There Are Over A Billion Active Websites
According to this article, as of January 2020, there are around 1.2 billion active websites on the internet. That’s a lot of data being transferred on a constant basis! Websites take on all shapes and sizes, and cover pretty much any topic you can think of. From banking to entertainment to social media to research and beyond. There is virtually limitless knowledge available to us at the click of a button.
How does the internet support such a wide range of websites? Where does all that information go? Essentially, there are thousands of servers and routers that decode the information sent along digital pathways to become the information you see on the screen. A lot of information can be passed very quickly across the globe, and with options like fiber optic cables available, the speeds we once knew will soon seem sluggish.
4. ECommerce Is A Billion-Dollar Industry
ECommerce sales grew about 14% in the US last year, bringing in nearly 602 billion dollars. Sites like Amazon are among the forerunners of this eCommerce boom, providing a rich array of unique products from all over the country (and the world) to paying customers. eCommerce has truly changed the way we buy and sell goods. Now, you can order something from across the country and have it delivered to your doorstep in under three business days!
The success of eCommerce means that vendors everywhere are now able to reach a wider audience. No longer restricted by geographic location, unique products are being sold and shipped all over the world, further showing how the internet has connected us all as a global community.
5. Social Media Accounts For A Large Percentage Of Internet Use
At last, we come to the subject of social media, one of the internet’s greatest and most widely-used tools. According to this article, about 3.8 billionpeople all over the world use social media. Remember the number of people who have internet access? It was four billion. That means that just about every person who has internet access is on social media.
Social media is something that’s a double-edged sword. While it’s connected us all, made socialization new and exciting, and brought about some interesting social change, there are studies that suggest excessive use of social media can lead to negative consequences. These can include increased anxiety, depression, and reduce social skills.
Social media is addictive, there’s no doubt about it. The notifications keep us coming back for more, and there’s always one more person or page to follow, one more message to read, one more friend to add. In a world where we’re constantly communicating, we don’t actually say much, do we?
Big Data is Changing the Direction of the Internet
The internet will likely keep us connected on a global scale for centuries to come, and it will be interesting to see what kinds of tools and advancements we can make to further utilize the usefulness of a worldwide network. Until then, we’re just happy to have super-fast speeds and reliable connections.