Ten years ago the World Wide Web was a very different place than the all-encompassing, crucial to many, resource that is it today.
Ten years ago only 9.1% of the world’s population were active internet users who browsed the web for an average of 46 minutes per day, and there were only around 3 million websites to choose from. Today, there are over 555 million websites currently active and over a third of the world’s population are viewing them for an average of four hours per day!
The small percentage of active internet users ten years ago, were also using the internet in a very different way from users in 2014. Internet Explorer was by far the most popular browser with only 5% of users choosing a different browser to explore the net. Nowadays, there is a plethora of internet browsers to choose from, the most popular ones including; Google Chrome, Firefox and Linux-based Opera.
The speed at which users are able to view the internet has also dramatically improved over the last decade. It took, on average, 12.5 minutes to download a song in 2004 using a 56k modem, a process that has been refined to mere seconds. The average page loading time was also a lot longer at 16 seconds, something that takes only 6 seconds for internet users today.
Social media websites, which most internet users access multiple times each day, were nearly unheard of. The first social media website to gain real traction was Friendster, which was launched in 2002 and had approximately 3 million users.
In 2004 Facebook had just been launched at Harvard College and was being billed as the college version of Friendster. Today, Facebook is the most popular social media networking website with over 900 million regular users. There are also a number of social networks that have become a part of modern life since 2004 such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.
In 2004, image sharing site Flickr had just been launched and Digg was founded as a social news website where users could share stories from across the internet. These sites are now well established and frequently used by many.
The landscape of the internet is still constantly evolving and 2014 has seen more users access the internet via a mobile device- smart phone or tablet- instead of a PC than ever before. Social media is also a key part of life with nearly 25% of the world’s population using it and businesses incorporating it into their marketing strategies. The internet is now used in a multitude of ways as part of everyday life and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the World Wide Web and those who use it.
What do you think the web will be like in 2024? Let us know below or tweet us at @auburncreative