The Internet in Real Time – A look at how Big it is


It is easy to overlook just how big the internet is. Over half of the world’s population has access to the internet, with 4.2 billion users as of 2018. 3.2 billion of these are social media users, highlighting just incredible size and scale of the internet. Breaking down these numbers into real-time offers a fascinating insight into just how big the internet truly is. The Internet in Real Time.

After all, the internet holds so much data that it genuinely becomes difficult to find terms break down the sheer volume of info stored and shared online every day. Rather than trying to understand petabytes, exabytes, and zettabytes of data, let’s take a closer look at some of the real-time numbers on the internet’s most popular websites and applications.

Social Media Generates Huge Traffic

Social media websites and applications are immensely popular with internet users. Considering there over 3 billion social media users online today the number of people visiting the various social media sites shouldn’t be too surprising.

Facebook remains the most visited social media network on the internet. After a single day, the website generates over 6 billion likes across 72 million active users. 18,000 profiles are created every hour, while over 60 million accounts are logged into over the same time.

Looking at the wider picture, Facebook has an incredible 2 billion monthly active users and 12 million new users each month. Photographs and videos are the two most popular types of media on Facebook, with 333 million video views and 12 photos uploaded every hour.

Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are three of the other big social media networks.

Image hosting site Instagram has close to 4 million photographs uploaded every hour – this adds up to more than 3 billion photos every month. These photos receive 30 billion likes which in turn helps to generate the $555 million of monthly ad revenue on Instagram.

Twitter sees close to 500 million new Tweets every day, adding up to over15 billion monthly Tweets from the 324 million active users. While the monthly ad revenue is nowhere close to that generated on Instagram the website still sees an impressive $44 million generated.

The amount of data exchanged on multimedia messaging app Snapchat is certainly worth mentioning. There are 7 million active users on Snapchat every hour, sharing 75 million photos and watching 400 million videos. This adds up to 2 billion photos and 10 billion videos every day, rising to an eyewatering 52 billion photos and 300 million videos per month. The Internet in Real Time.

Video Streaming Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

Advancements in technology have allowed video streaming to become one of the most used features of the internet. This is unsurprisingly dominated by YouTube, which enjoys over 150 billion video views each month, which works out at 5 billion daily views and over 200 million views every hour.

Mobile technology has certainly helped YouTubes staggering growth, with research from the clip on veneers showing that almost 1 billion of the 5 billion daily video views being watched on mobile devices. So many viewers have proven to be an advertisers dream, with YouTube videos generating $35 million in daily ad revenue and $1 billion in monthly ad revenue.

Other streaming services have taken note of the popularity of online video, with services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu also providing a range of video content.

Netflix is still on top in terms of users and revenue generated, bringing close to 2 million new users and $4 billion in revenue each month.

Amazon Prime and Hulu aren’t too far behind with 1.1 million and 1.3 million new monthly users respectively. The Internet in Real Time.

Shoppers Continue to Ditch the High Street

It’s well known that the internet has forever changed retail, with more people buying things online than ever before.

Amazon remains at the forefront of this with over 500,000 purchases made every hour. The company’s mobile app also sees a fair amount of traffic, with 950,000 visits to the app every hour. But it’s Amazon’s monthly revenue that really showcases the influence of the retail giant – $15 billion in monthly revenue.

There are countless other sites for shopping online of course, with eBay remaining one the most used sites with $8 billion sales of goods every month generating the company $855 million in revenue.

Shopping online has never been easier thanks to online payment system PayPal. Adding over 3,000 new users every hour, PayPal sees 867,600 transactions in that same hour, with $17.6 million worth of these transactions taking place on the mobile application.

$1 billion of payments are made on PayPal every day, almost half of which occur on mobile, generating the company over $35 million in revenue. Totalled up over the month, it works out to around $37 billion of payments across 624 million transactions, earning PayPal a cool $1 billion in monthly revenue. The Internet in Real Time.

The Cloud Continues to Grow

Cloud storage is one of the rising stars of the internet. In a single day cloud storage services equal $1 billion in capitalisation, with $439 million spent every day on this service. It’s quickly growing too, with 158,000 new users each hour contributing to a $3 billion market value that looks set to grow further.

iCloud is one of the most popular cloud storage services, with 720 million processing messages every hour and 86,000 new users each day. It currently generates $69.9 million in sales every month.

Google Drive is more appealing for commercial organisations, however, with over 7,700 new businesses signing up each month. Along with current businesses and individuals using the service, Google Drive generates $32.8 million in daily revenue.

Other Interesting Internet Real-Time Figures

  • Google receives 47 billion searches every month – almost double Bing’s 26 billion monthly searches
  • 2 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp every hour – this adds up to a staggering 1,800 billion monthly messages
  • Tinder gets over 2 billion swipes each day
  • 30 million digital games are sold on Steam each month
  • 10,000 guests are hosted every hour on Airbnb
  • 12 million new monthly contributions are made on TripAdvisor
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