Yesterday comScore released their global Internet traffic rankings for the month of May. Their research shows that 772 million people worldwide were online in May, which is a pretty large number. Still, as ZDNet notes, that’s only 12 percent of the world’s population. Here’s how the press release reads:
There were 772 million people online worldwide in May (defined as those individuals age 15 or older who accessed the Internet from a home or work location in the last 30 days), an increase from 766 million in April, representing a 16 percent penetration of the worldwide population of individuals age 15 or older.
And further down the page, we find the fine print:
** Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.
Seems to me that excluding mobile phones in particular would lead to a much lower number than the true online population. In the developed world, computers dominate access to the Internet, but that’s not the case in the developing world!
A quick search led me to this W3C press release (from September 2006):
According to the World Bank, more than two billion people own a mobile phone and 80% of the world’s population has access to GSM service. With one million new subscribers every day, almost four billion people will have a mobile phone by the end of 2010.
I suspect the vast majority of those phones are web-enabled. If anyone has a link to usage statistics, let me know in the comments!