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Half-Globe Connected

Half of the world is now connected to the internet: study

By Networks Asia staff | Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 23:12





Internet penetration increased by 10% in the last 12 months to hit 3.773 billion, or 50% of the world’s population, according to “Digital in 2017,” a report on social media and digital trends around the world.

Released by Hootsuite, a social media management platform, and We Are Social, a social media agency, the report also showed that global social media use has increased by 21% in the last 12 months, reaching 2.8 billion users globally.

Another finding is that mobile social media use has increased by 30% year-over-year to surpass 2.5 billion users globally, with 91% of social media users accessing social from mobile.

In APAC, mobile data traffic leads significantly over other regions, with 4.12 billion gigabytes consumed, compared with 1.24 gigabytes from North Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Social media growth rates increased by over 50% year-on-year. More than 1.5 billion people across APAC now use social media on a monthly basis, 95% of whom access social via mobile devices - the highest ratio in the world.

As a result, organisations in APAC should plan to transform their communications strategy to increase customer engagement and real-time interaction across the customer journey.

“One of the greatest opportunities of a digitally connected world is the ability to have immediate conversations, wherever and whenever customers want. Social media not only enables organisations to amplify its brand, but also build trust, credibility and human relationships at scale. It is now as much the responsibility of the top executive as the social media manager,” said Roger Graham, senior director, Growth and Marketing, APAC, Hootsuite.

“Half of the world's population is now online, which is a testament to the speed with which digital connectivity is helping to improve people's lives. The increase in internet users in developing economies is particularly encouraging,” said Simon Kemp, We Are Social. “Given this latest data, it's probably time for us to stop referring to social as 'new media', and integrate it more seamlessly into our day-to-day activities."

The report compiles data from the world's largest studies of online behavior, conducted by organisations including GlobalWebIndex, GSMA Intelligence, Statista, and Akamai in a comprehensive state of social media reference.

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