Over 4.5 billion are now ‘connected’

Azlan Othman

More than 4.5 billion people across the globe now use the Internet, while social media users have passed the 3.8 billion mark. Nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population is already online, and the latest trends suggest that more than half of the world’s total population will use social media by the middle of this year.

This is according to a report on the Global Digital Overview 2020 including web, mobile, chat and many other details on every country in the world by We are Social and Hootsuite.

The report also stated that in the Asia-Pacific, Internet users amounted to 2.42 billion with penetration of 56 per cent. Active social media users accounted to some 2.14 billion or penetration of about 50 per cent.

In terms of annual change in digital use in this Asia-Pacific region, mobile phone connection was up by 3.5 per cent (or +151 million) in January 2020 compared to in January 2019 while Internet users were up by 9.2 per cent (+204 million) in that period. Meanwhile active social media users were up by 9.8 per cent (+190 million).

Brunei Darussalam had 413,000 Internet users in January 2020. The number of Internet users in Brunei increased by 3,040 (+0.7 per cent) between 2019 and 2020 while Internet penetration stood at 95 per cent in January 2020.

There were 410,000 social media users in Brunei Darussalam in January 2020. The number of social media users in Brunei increased by 4,852 (+1.2 per cent) between April 2019 and January 2020.

Social media penetration in Brunei Darussalam stood at 94 per cent in January 2020 while there were 567,000 mobile connections in Brunei Darussalam in January 2020.

The number of mobile connections in Brunei Darussalam increased by 8,923 (+1.6 per cent) between January 2019 and January 2020. The number of mobile connections in Brunei Darussalam in January 2020 was equivalent to 130 per cent of the total population.

Facebook and Instagram remained the two most popular social media with 310,000 and 210,000 users. The majority of Facebook users in the Sultanate are men with 56.7 per cent while the majority of Instagram users are women with 53.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, 99.2 per cent used the mobile phone to surf Facebook. The most visited website, according to Alexa (by average monthly traffic), is Google, JobCentre Brunei, Ali Express and Facebook.

However according to CEO of Kepios Simon Kemp, who is a report author of HootSuite and We Are Social, some important challenges remain globally and that there’s still work to do to ensure that everyone around the world has fair and equal access to life-changing digital connectivity.

Roughly 40 per cent of the world’s population remains ‘unconnected’ to the Internet, with the latest data indicating that women are more likely to be ‘unconnected’ compared to men.

The gender gap is particularly apparent in Southern Asia, where men are three times more likely to use social media compared to women, providing a meaningful reference for the gender gap in the region’s broader Internet use. However, almost 300 million people came online for the first time over the past 12 months, with the majority of those new users living in developing economies.

The report said that the Internet is also playing an ever more important role in our lives. With the world’s Internet users spending an average of six hours and 43 minutes online each day, the typical user now spends more than 40 per cent of their waking life using the Internet, and humanity will spend a combined total of 1.25 billion years using the Internet during 2020.

Mobile devices will account for more than half of all the time we spend online this year, but most Internet users still use a combination of mobiles and computers to access the Internet.

When it comes to mobile activities, apps now account for more than 90 per cent of our total time spent. The data also reveals that we’re using apps in an increasingly varied range of everyday activities, but social media still accounts for half of all the time we spend using mobile devices.

On average, the world’s Internet users spend two hours and 24 minutes using social media across all devices each day, accounting for more than one-third of our total Internet time.