A brief look at the extent of growth of the internet

The history of the world has seen many ages until now. Many of them include the starting of the pre-historic era with the primitive age, followed by the Stone Age, Metal Age, and Wheel Age until the most recent ones namely the Industrial age, the Computer Age and the present “Internet Age”. It is also noteworthy that the world has gradually increased the speed at which it has progressed in each of the successive ages. According to one survey the amount of development which the world used to do in one century previously is now occurring within a span of just 3 years in the present times. And this rate of progress is still increasing and improving continuously. Among all the ages, the most rapid growth until now has by far occurred in the present “Internet Age” mainly in the field of technological development.

The field of technological development comprises of many sub categories like automotive technology, medical technology, electronic technology, bio technology, computer technology, web technology, nuclear technology, space technology etc. Out of them the field of web technology is reaching new horizons with regard to the amount of web development taking place all over the world everyday.

Web development is a broad term for the work involved in developing a web site for the Internet (World Wide Web) or an intranet (a private network). This can include web design, web programming, web content development, client liaison, client-side/server-side scripting, web server and network security configuration and e-commerce development. Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, or social network services. There can be hundreds of employees mainly the web developers working in a large organization or a large web development company where as it can range to as small as only a single person or two serving as a web master and/or system technician in a small web enterprise.

Since the mid-1990s, web development has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The growth of this industry is being pushed by large businesses wishing to sell products and services to their customers and to automate business workflow. Besides, more and more people are turning towards the IT industry mostly to launch their own personal or business website or to develop their own internet based business venture looking to the numerous opportunities and development possibilities rising in this field. Other than the most common personal or business websites more and more private ventures related to group buying sites, social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, job portal sites, e-commerce sites and other types of general purpose websites are gradually coming up in the internet market.

However, there is no easy way to find out or explain the size of the web. After all, though there are a few governing bodies and consortia, there’s no real central control system for the Internet. No one really knows with 100% certainty exactly how many websites exist, for example, or how many new websites are set up each day. Nevertheless, a few organizations do make it their business to keep an eye on the domain names that make up the Internet as the web continues its rapid growth throughout the infinite span of cyberspace. Although their data isn’t perfect, it does give us a pretty good idea of the size and growth of the internet.

It would be interesting to take a look at the numerical figures related to the growth of the IT industry off late. Here is a list of some interesting statistics from different sources that show the internet growth as happened in 2011. The information has some amazing revelations as follows:


  • Number of websites (as on December 2011) – 555 million
  • Added websites in 2011 – 300 million

Web servers

  • Growth in the number of Apache websites in 2011 – 239.1%
  • Growth in the number of IIS websites in 2011 – 68.7%
  • Growth in the number of NGINX websites in 2011 – 34.4%
  • Growth in the number of Google websites in 2011 – 80.9%

Web server software market share (December 2011)

Apache: 64%

IIS: 14%

NGINX: 13%

Google: 9%

Domain names

  • Number of .com domain names at the end of 2011 –  95.5 million
  • Number of .net domain names at the end of 2011 –  13.8 million
  • Number of .org domains names at the end of 2011 – 9.3 million
  • Number of .info domain names at the end of 2011 – 7.6 million
  • Number of .biz domain names at the end of 2011 – 2.1 million
  • Number of registered domain names (Q3, 2011) – 220 million
  • Number of country code top-level domains (.CN, .UK, .DE, etc.) (Q3, 2011) – 86.9 million
  • Number of top-level domains – 324
  • Market share for BIND, the number one DNS server type – 28%
  • The price for social.com, the most expensive domain name sold in 2011 – $2.6 million

Internet users

  • Internet users worldwide – 2.1 billion
  • Internet users in Asia –  922.2 million
  • Internet users in Europe –  476.2 million
  • Internet users in North America –  271.1 million
  • Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean –  215.9 million
  • Internet users in Africa – 118.6 million
  • Internet users in the Middle East – 68.6 million
  • Internet users in Oceania / Australia – 21.3 million
  • Share of Internet users under the age of 25 – 45%
  • Number of Internet users in China, more than any other country in the world – 485 million
  • Internet penetration in China – 36.3%
  • Number of fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions worldwide – 591 million

Internet users by region (March 2011)

  • Asia: 44%
  • Europe: 23%
  • North America: 13%
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: 10%
  • Africa: 6%
  • The Middle East: 3%
  • Oceania/Australia: 1%
  • Africa: 11%
  • Asia: 24%
  • The Middle East: 31.7%
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: 36.2%
  • Europe: 58.3%
  • Oceania/Australia: 60.1%
  • North America: 78.3%
  • IE: 39%
  • Chrome: 28%
  • Firefox: 25%
  • Safari: 6%
  • Opera: 1.5%
  • Other: 0.5%

Internet penetration by region (March 2011)

  • Africa: 11%
  • Asia: 24%
  • The Middle East: 31.7%
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: 36.2%
  • Europe: 58.3%
  • Oceania/Australia: 60.1%
  • North America: 78.3%

Global desktop web browser market share (December 2011)

  • IE: 39%
  • Chrome: 28%
  • Firefox: 25%
  • Safari: 6%
  • Opera: 1.5%
  • Other: 0.5%


  • Number of email accounts worldwide. 3 – 146 billion
  • Microsoft Outlook was the most popular email client – 27.6%
  • Percentage of spam emails delivered to corporate email inboxes despite spam filters – 19%
  • Number of emails sent and received per day by the average corporate user – 112
  • Percentage of worldwide email traffic that was spam (November 2011) – 71%
  • Total number of Hotmail users (largest email service in the world) – 360 million
  • The estimated return on $1 invested in email marketing in 2011 – $44.25
  • Years since the first email was sent, in 1971 – 40
  • Percentage of email that was malicious (November 2011) – 0.39%

Social media

  • Number of users on Facebook by the end of 2011 –  800+ million
  • Number of users added to Facebook during 2011 –  200 million
  • Number of Facebook users that log in to the service using their mobile phone – 350 million
  • Number of Twitter accounts –  225 million
  • Number of active Twitter users in 2011 – 100 million
  • People following Lady Gaga. Twitter’s most popular user – 18.1 million
  • Number of tweets per day (October 2011) – 250 million
  • Egypt was the number one hash tag on Twitter – #1
  • Number of tweets per second in August for the MTV Video Music Awards – 8,868
  • The amount raised for charity by the most retweeted tweet of 2011 – $50,000
  • The number of Tumblr blogs by the end of 2011 – 39 million
  • Total number of WordPress blogs by the end of 2011 – 70 million
  • The number of messages sent with WhatsApp during one day (October 2011) – 1 billion
  • Worldwide IM accounts – 2.6 billion
  • Social networking accounts worldwide – 2.4 billion


  • Number of Instagram accounts created during 2011 – 14 million
  • The average number of photos uploaded per second to Instagram – 60
  • Estimated number of photos on Facebook by mid-2011 – 100 billion
  • Total number of registered users on Flickr. – 51 million
  • Number of photos uploaded to Flickr each day – 4.5 million
  • Photos hosted on Flickr (August 2011) – 6 billion
  • Apple iPhone 4 is the most popular camera on Flickr – 1


  • The number of video playbacks on YouTube – 1 trillion
  • The number of YouTube video playbacks per person on Earth – 140
  • The amount of video uploaded to YouTube every minute – 48 hours
  • The most viewed video on YouTube during 2011 was Rebecka Black’s “Friday” – 1
  • Percentage of the U.S. Internet audience that viewed video online – 82.5%
  • YouTube’s share of the U.S. video website market (December 2011) – 76.4%
  • Number of new users on Vimeo – 4,189,214
  • Number of videos viewed online per month (October 2011) – 201.4 billion
  • Videos viewed per month on Google sites, incl. YouTube (October 2011) – 88.3 billion
  • Share of all worldwide video views delivered by Google sites, incl. YouTube – 43%


  • The number of active mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide in 2011 – 1.2 billion
  • The estimated number of mobile subscriptions worldwide in 2011 – 5.9 billion
  • Percentage of handsets shipped globally in 2011 that included a web browser – 85%
  • Apple iPad’s share of global tablet web traffic in December – 88%

Looking to the figures above, we can say that the extent of growth of the IT industry at present truly justifies the present times as the “Internet Age” going on in the world.

What’s in store for 2013?

For 2013, there is every reason to think that the Internet, by any measure, will keep on growing. As we put more of our personal as well as professional lives online, we will come to rely on the internet in ways we could even hardly imagine before. For better or worse, the internet is now critical component in almost everything we do. The number of internet users is increasing everyday and also the amount of use of the internet. By and large, internet is becoming an integral part of use in the lives of almost everyone.

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1 Comment
  1. Great information! Thanks to share this wonderful knowledge I was unaware about. The rapid increase of internet as a powerful medium is really amazing. It seems as if the world will soon be caught in the internet trap. Surely, advancement towards new horizons!!

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