WeAreSocial’s new Digital, Social and Mobile in 2015 report launched this week. This comprehensive, free report uses significant amounts of GlobalWebIndex’s data to present up-to-date digital statistics globally and across 30 of the world’s biggest economies.

As the reports shows, the number of global internet users passed 3 billion last November and internet penetration is expected to surpass 50% of the world’s population by mid-2016. As the largest on-going study of into the digital consumer instigated to date, GlobalWebIndex’s 32-country research provides key data into this growing internet audience, easily accessible through our new PRO platform.

A number of WeAreSocial’s findings complement the insights that GlobalWebIndex has been providing for over 5 years.

In particular, the report examines many fast-growth nations, which have some of the most enthusiastic and engaged internet users. South-East Asians register the highest average daily web use, with users in the Philippines getting online for more than 6 hours per day, followed closely by those in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Many of these countries also post the highest figures for daily social media use – social networkers in the Argentina are now spending more than 4 hours on social media per day. WeAreSocial expect to see social media penetration reach one-third of the world’s population before the end of 2015, with activity from developing nations accounting for almost all this growth. Over 2015, GWI will survey 12 Asian and 6 LatAm countries, providing key insights on these rising markets.

This dedication to the internet is also being reflected in the rising importance of e-commerce in emerging markets. Although the populations of established markets, such as Germany and USA, are the biggest online shoppers, the importance of mobile commerce to fast-growth countries is clear. Last month, more than a third of South Koreans bought something online via a mobile phone. The Chinese are also increasingly active mobile shoppers, with 27% of the population buying something through their phones in the past 30 days. These trends are explored in depth in our GWI Commerce report.

In fact, the rise of the mobile phone as an internet device is one of the most important findings of WeAreSocial’s report – a trend also explored in our GWI Device report. Worldwide penetration of mobile phones passed 50% last September and the number of active mobile connections surpassed the total world population just last month.

So it’s no surprise that mobile’s share of global web traffic leapt 39% since last year, with one-third of all web pages now served to mobile phones. GlobalWebIndex tracks more than 150 global and local websites across mobile, tablet and PC/laptop, allowing for detailed insight into where this growing mobile traffic is going.

Mobiles are also key to the new trends in social networking. As our GWI Social Q4 2014 report (launching this week) highlights, social networking continues to boom. WeAreSocial found that the monthly active user figures for the most active social network in each country add up to almost 2.08 billion – an 11% increase since January 2014.

Adding up the mobile users of the top social network in each country also shows that there are now at least 1.65 billion active mobile social accounts. What’s more, 83% of Facebookers are accessing the service through a mobile, a statistic that has a serious impact on how users are experiencing and using the platform. This topic was recently covered in detail in our Passive Facebooking report.

Meanwhile, instant messenger services and chat apps continue their impressive growth patterns, with WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger and Viber all reporting more than 100 million new monthly active users over the past 12 months. IM services and chat apps now account for 3 of the top 5 global social platforms, and 8 instant messenger brands now claim more than 100 million monthly active users.


Written by

Felim is Senior Trends Manager at GWI. He oversees the Trends team who produce a wide range of off-the-shelf reports and infographics along with our Chart of the Day series. Moving to GWI after completing a PhD, Felim specializes in writing about online consumer behaviors and digital trends.

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