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Internet Trends (Statistics & Facts in 2021)

Will Ellis
Last Updated on November 17, 2021

Planet earth is home to 7.7 billion people and of them, 4.54 billion are active internet users. It’s safe to say that the internet is one of the most popular trends, and it seems that it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Table of Contents:

The Birth of The World Wide Web


Internet website

The internet has come a long way, since the late 1960s. While the initial idea had a lot of kinks and crashes, it eventually was all worked out and the first successful internet connection took place on January the 1st 1983.

The invention is credited to two computer scientists based out of Switzerland, Vinton Cert and Bob Kahn. Since then, things like search engines, emojis, and now chatbots are taking the web by storm, creating a swift, interactive experience for all those who use it.

Google, one of the web’s most used search engines, hit the web in 1996 and social media hit the scene in 1997. 

The Evolution of the Web


The web was a pretty desolate place when it first hit the scene, with the first webpage popping up in 1991. It was the World Wide Web webpage, featuring information about the project and the ideas behind it. Since then, there have been a ton of evolutions to hit the scene, taking over every single corner of the web. 

Search Engines

The first search engine to hit the web was JumpStation. This was nothing compared to what we know of today, featuring only a few possibilities, as the web was pretty empty. Today, search engines are all around us, with the top being Google, which spills out thousands to millions of results in a matter of seconds. Included in the list of modern search engines are also those that are considered secured browsers with unfiltered content like DuckDuckGo.  

Language

Language also heavily evolved with the birth of the internet, bringing life to abbreviations and the emoji. Nowadays, there are emojis for everything and they seem to be a language all on their own. As we move to a more digital way of doing things, emojis are sure to fill the screen.  

Social Media

Social media has come a long way too. It’s now one of the most used programs on the web, with several top contenders, including Facebook and Instagram. Social media is no longer just chat rooms but pictures, videos, live-streaming, and more.  

While it’s been around for some time now, social media has become one of the top uses of the internet across the globe, with over 3 billion active users logging on during their time on the web. From posting to scrolling to interacting, users are partaking in more social activity on the web than ever before, in alarming numbers that continue to increase. 

Connectivity

Connectivity has also gotten an upgrade over the years, now with high-speed internet expanding across the globe. Even the most remote locations are starting to have some type of coverage. Its accessibility has been another reason why more businesses are moving to the web, able to access global customers and expand their abilities. Connection has gone from 3G to 5G rapidly and is only expected to keep on going up from there. 

AI

One direction that is hot off the press is AI, helping websites add more of a human touch to their customer care. Businesses are moving toward automation with help from chatbots and automated workflows. Visitors can now accomplish more in a short time, having more free time to do the things they love, which is part of the reason why the internet is here and here to stay. 

Aussies and the Internet


Because it’s part of our daily lives, a lot of us don’t stop to think about how much we use the internet. However, if you take a minute to stop and think about all of the things you accomplish in a day thanks to the internet, you’ll notice how much you’re dependent on it. You’re not alone though, with many Aussies using the web too, and at a higher rate than you might have guessed. Internet usage in Australia has increased rapidly throughout the last decade, with: 

  • 22.31 million internet users 
  • A 265 thousand increase in users between 2019 and 2021
  • Internet penetration percentage of 88%

One surprising statistic is that the number of internet subscribers has started to go down, approaching a steady stage as the market approaches saturation. Though there might be fewer subscribers overall, the amount of data downloaded and consumed across Australia is huge and has increased sharply over the last 5 years. All of these numbers are significant for speculating about the direction of the internet in Australia, and also globally as we approach 100% saturation around the world. 


Graphs and Statistics

For a look at what Aussies are up to online, we’ve checked out some of the most telling stats from around the web.

These help to clarify how users are navigating the web and all of the key things that they’re looking for when they log in. 

Fact #1. 93% of all online surfing starts with a search engine

If you’re like most Australians, you start your time online with a quick search with a search engine. Search engines are one of the most effective ways to search for things online, something that we all need a time or two. Among the most popular are Google and Bing, though there are many others preferred by users. A breakdown will show just how much of an edge that Google has over all other search engines. 

  • Google: 94.56% 
  • Bing 3.65%
  • Yahoo!: 0.8%
  • DuckDuckGo: 0.6%

There are several other search engines out there, most of which users come in contact with every once in a while. Though they are there, most devices and desktops are set to go to one particular search engine, whether it’s Google or Bing. It’s because of this that search engines are on the rise and will continue to be the way that users access the internet. 

Fact #2. Revenue totaled over $29million in 2021

Long gone are the days when buyers would head to the stores to get their hands on items they couldn’t wait to have. Nowadays, there are several markets within the realm of eCommerce, one of the internet’s largest markets. Amazon and AliExpress are two of the top vendors in Australia and around the world. 

These companies are both fast to deliver and offer buyers the things that they want and need at a discounted price, which is not something that other companies are quite able to offer. It’s because of these things that buyers are flocking to sites that are simple to order from, quick to deliver, and offer unbeatable prices that you can’t find from anywhere else. 

Fact #3. Cart abandonment is down 75%

One area where eCommerce used to struggle was with cart abandonment, with users coming to the online store, adding things to their cart, and leaving them there. In the past, eCommerce stores would simply let the item sit there, some not even sending out alerts for items that are getting low in stock. 

Thanks to AI, there are now huge efforts in place to add more interaction while online shopping, which in turn has reduced cart abandonment. Now, shoppers are adding things to their cart and getting reminders, discounts, and other incentives to log in and buy. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities while shopping to feel a little human interaction, something that helps to keep shoppers engaged and coming back for more. As of now, some other eCommerce stats include: 

  • A reported 18 million + eCommerce users 
  • 5% annual growth rate
  • Out of all the categories, fashion is the most active
  • eCommerce internet penetration is 72.8%
  • eCommerce is expected to move over 78% penetration by 2024

Because more companies know that consumers prefer to shop online at a higher rate than ever, they are now rushing to get things up online and create an interactive and visual experience just like the real thing. Though it’s not everyone’s preference, online shopping is taking over the scene and becoming the number one choice of consumers across the globe. 

Fact #4. Social media users are on the rise

It should come as no surprise that another one of the top markets in Australia is social media. In the country, there are more than 18 million social media users in 2021. The biggest jump of users came from 2019 to 2021, with more than 735 thousand new users. 

The rise in interest in social media likely has a connection with the global pandemic, as Australia was one of the countries that launched the strictest measures. From travel bans to closures and curfews, the country is still trying to combat the spread, which turned more internet users toward getting their social media fixed online. 

When looking at the use of social media across the globe, it takes the number one position over everything else. It’s the fastest-growing area of the internet and has more than 3.8 billion active users involved. 

When comparing social media platforms by the number of users, Facebook takes the number one spot with more than 16 million as of January 2021. Following Facebook are:

  • YouTube 15 million (close but no cigar!)
  • Instagram 9 million
  • WhatsApp 7 million

Australians are said to spend more than 40 hours a week online, and most of it is scrolling through and using social sites. Penetration is around 71% and, out of the entire time spent online, 1 out of every 3 minutes is said to be spent using social media. It’s the first and last thing that users typically see during their time online and something that more and more Aussies are creating accounts for. 

Fact #5. The majority of internet users are between 25 and 34

Not that any age can’t use the web but, when it comes to those that use the web the most in Australia, it’s those from 25 to 34. It is true that, over the year, more of those aged 65 and up have become an active part of the web, participating at a higher rate than ever before. 

The average age of technology-savvy users is increasing, as the internet approaches decades in age. It is because the average user is younger and has been around technology most of their lives that there is much more of a push to keep up. As the average age gets lower and more children are exposed to the web, there is sure to be a huge increase in those using the web and an extension on the average age that is logging on and surfing the web in their free time. 

Fact #6. Australians are connecting with their mobile at a higher rate than ever before 

Users across the globe are accessing the web from their mobile phones at a higher rate than ever. One of the main reasons behind the change is the fact that there are now plans that offer more data at a lower cost and in more areas than ever before. These days, there is not much that can’t be done from a mobile phone, a trend that is sure not to go anywhere anytime soon. 

Mobile phone use constitutes for more than 50% of web page views in Australia. With more than 32 million mobile connections in the country, more and more Aussies are taking to their mobile devices to get online. Major increases in the number connected increased the most from 2019 to 2021, just as social media users did. 

As of January 2021, there was said to be a mobile connection percentage rate of 130%, which accounts for more than the total population. It’s safe to say that Aussies have lots of options when it comes to getting and keeping connected, with most individuals having more than one option when it comes to hopping online and shopping or skimming over social. With a solid mobile connection, all of that is possible, and it’s more convenient than ever before. 

Fact #7. More Australians are streaming, with penetration right at 70%

Internet users that are not using their connection for social media are possibly using it for another popular online use, which is streaming. Thanks to popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and more, Australians are using their connections to keep up with the latest series to hit their screens. 

Out of all of the popular streaming options, Netflix has the lead, with more than 11 million subscribers. That means that more than half of the population has Netflix in their household, 15% more than in 2018. It’s no surprise that streaming is growing in popularity, with many of the most-watched shows hitting all of the most popular platforms. 

The video streaming industry holds an average revenue of $240 million and is expected to keep climbing (over 10%) until 2024. That’s not a hard concept to grasp, with more shows set to come out soon and with platforms in tight competition with one another. 

Fact #8. Covid changed more than we thought

The pandemic was a big deal and is still taking over some countries. While bigger and more developed countries are busy vaccinating and taking care of their citizens, other countries are not quite on that level, getting left behind. When the pandemic hit, everything changed, including access to products, travel, and even the internet. 

While other areas struggled, it was the internet that took off, providing all of us with a way to still do the things we love. The digital way of doing things changed everything, suddenly making the world realize how much they relied on a solid connection. During the pandemic, Aussies were buying things, working, having social interactions, and more, all online. 

The need for businesses to jump on board and get things rolling on the web has a huge impact, one that has changed more than we thought. Nowadays, the use of the internet has shifted to a necessity, something that we can use to take care of any tasks we need all from one place. 

Fact #9. There is a need for advanced security 

With everything moving to the web, it’s become a more obvious target for cybercriminals. There are always criminals lurking and trying to find weaknesses around the web that gain them access into unauthorized areas. More and more businesses and customers are in danger of identity theft or a data breach, which is why there is more of a need than ever to find advanced online security. 

Aussies are reaching for virtual private networks (VPNs), using them as a way to use a separate server for internet use. A VPN makes it harder for hackers to track certain data and ensures that there is no tracking going on while users are surfing the web. According to stats, there are as many as 16% of Australians that access the web using a VPN, using it as a way to protect their online privacy. 

VPNs are not the only measure of security that Aussies are using, also turning to things like secured browsers, password managers, and more. When it comes to protecting sensitive data, there is no protection that is too much protection. Adding layers of security and actively monitoring one’s time online is one way to reduce the chances of a data breach while keeping Aussies’ info safe. 

Australia’s National Broadband Network


The number of internet users in Australia is hitting new records daily and is predicted to keep on climbing. By 2025, there are said to be 23.3 million users, which will be the highest number yet. It’s no question that Australians are using the web more than ever before and that they will keep using it in record numbers. 

The majority of the activities that Aussies are into when they use the internet on their desktops or mobile phones are email, surfing the web, checking bank accounts, streaming videos, and shopping. Because of this trend, companies are expected to keep things rolling and release their services through the web. 

This led to the development of the NBN network back in 2009, there to extend the country’s broadband abilities and make it more accessible to all Australians. Australia’s NBN is now aiming to make connections faster than ever before and provide Aussies with different types of connections to suit their internet needs. 

The Pros and Cons of Increased Connection


The internet has created the opportunity for a lot of great things. That’s the reason why so many Aussies are taking advantage and starting to use their internet more than ever. Though it comes with opportunity, it’s not without its drawbacks. When it comes to increasing connectivity across the globe, there are clear disadvantages too. 

The Pros

Pros green tick

With the internet, it should come as no surprise that the pros outweigh the cons. There are many more advantages that come from connecting to the web, most of which benefit multiple countries all at the same time. 

The Ability to Connect 

If there is one clear reason why the internet is one of the fastest-growing entities, it’s because of the fact that there is a clear opportunity to connect. During the pandemic, families in the same country were not even allowed to see each other, creating a clear need to help them connect. That’s where the internet came in handy, allowing them to see one another, chat, and update their lives in quarantine with friends and loved ones. Connecting to one’s friends and family is one of the biggest pros of the internet, which also extends to companies. No matter where in the world customers are, they can connect to them, creating more opportunities to do business and keep growing. 

There is a reason why social media is one of the largest entities on the web. Each year, it seems to go up, with more and more people creating accounts to share a part of their lives online. This opportunity to find niches online, even in the most remote places, connects more people than ever and encourages global interactions. 

Trading Across Markets 

Trading within the stock market has always been something of interest to all those across the globe. Before the expansion of the internet, it was hard to get connected with brokers and start trading. Nowadays, it’s simple to trade across markets, no matter where they are created. 

For Aussies, it’s a true advantage to be able to access Forex markets like the NYSE and other foreign markets, trading and increasing their income while they’re at it. 

Lower Global Prices 

Because countries from all over the world can add products on the web, it helps to drive down costs due to competition. This competitiveness is part of the reason why consumers across the globe are able to shop more, finding the best deals for the products that they are looking for. 

Automation

From a business standpoint, automation is one of the top advantages that recent advances have brought to them. It allows them to add a bit of a human touch to every single transaction, no matter how automatic it is. It makes everything faster and keeps a steady process running from start to finish. 

From a customer’s point of view, they are able to log in and take care of a ton of things all at the same time. They don’t have to log in every single time that they visit their account and they also don’t have to go to multiple websites to complete tasks. From adding things into their cart to purchasing to verifying their data, they can do it all from one place. 

Teleworking

There are not too many people out there that are opposed to soaking up the sun instead of slaving away in an office. It’s because of the internet that many workers can do the work that they need to, even if that means only taking off a few days to work from home. 

During the pandemic, the internet was one of the main reasons why both employers and employees could stay afloat, taking everything to the web and making that they preferred means of communication. The internet helped it happen and kept things flowing, even when everything else was shutting down. 

Strengthened Human Rights 

Thanks to the web, things are much more transparent. There are now videos that can be passed around and audio that’s recorded that can be shared in seconds. Any kind of injustice can make its way across the globe at a rapid pace, which can ignite a need for change. The rapid pace of the internet and the ability for people from all walks of life to communicate create a stronger fight for human rights. Things are transparent and those in power are the ones in the spotlight, having to watch their every move. 

Global Flow of Information 

Back then, there used to be a lot of competition between countries. While that’s still true in some cases, there is less of a push for a competitive nature and more of a push for global collaborations. Countries that work together have the power to create amazing and innovative technologies and solve the world’s most pressing issues. 

Additionally, for those that are collaborating, access to investors is easier than ever before. It no longer has to be limited to one area, as now companies and startups can attempt to find investors from all around the globe. 

The Cons

Cons red cross

Just like there are advantages to connecting to the web, there are clear disadvantages. Some of them should be considered before they become a major issue, reduced as much as possible for a positive surfing experience. 

Security

One of the top disadvantages is security. The web is now one of the most targeted areas, with tons of valuable sensitive information passed from place to place. Hackers know this and, when they can, look for vulnerabilities that they can breach to get a hold of data. Among the most targeted are banks and brokers, as they hold financial information that could lead to identity theft and/or theft of funds. 

The need for more advanced security measures like VPNs is here to stay, working best when combined with other measures that include password managers, two-factor authentications, and more. It’s not only the job of companies to create secure websites but, it’s also the user’s responsibility to take precautions while on the web. 

The Dark Web 

The dark web is out there and is used by criminals of all kinds. These criminals can buy and sell all kinds of things, some of which create a dangerous and hostile market that many would cringe to know exists. The dark web has things like stolen information, which makes it a hot commodity for hackers to target. 

If the demand for things (even illegal things) is out there, someone will surely create a market for it, which keeps crimes happening and user information sensitive. 

Cyberbullying 

While it’s a pro to be social on the web, there are also issues that come along with that too. One of the major issues with social sites is the occurrence of cyberbullying, which seems to happen more and more each year. Most of those that are targeted the most are adolescence, some of which may be having a hard time in school already. 

Cyberbullying has claimed many lives and made the internet an uncomfortable place for so many on the web. Accounts, where trolls lurk behind and wait for an opportunity to jump on an account and make fun of them, are growing, making it an increasingly hostile place to be. 

Job Loss 

While it’s not apparent yet, there could be a threat to some jobs in the future. More companies are adding AI into the mix, creating a better and more automatic customer care response. While it could be a good thing for those that hate to wait for customer care or to process transactions, it could mean that there are fewer jobs available. 

The internet and technology as a whole threaten jobs and could mean that they become less abundant because of the web. It’s not clear what kind of threat the internet could have on some jobs, though computers can process information faster and more accurately than any one human can. In that way, businesses could save money and omit human error, all at the same time. 

Laziness 

The internet is like a microworld all on its own. There are all kinds of information there, all at the tip of one’s fingers. While surfing the web, the fingers, eyes, and brain may be going a million miles an hour, though nothing else is moving. For that reason, there is a large disadvantage to the health of surfers, as they sort of just sit there for hours. 

It’s no surprise that the world is getting increasingly unhealthier and more overweight. Obesity is a huge problem in some places across the globe, mostly in the US and the UK. The internet does not help with this habit, making it worse as more and more people choose to sit and surf, stream, or scroll through social media. 

Destroys Local Companies 

Back in the days before everything started moving to the web, small mom-and-pop shops were all the craze. They were not only praised for their local vibes but loved for their products and their overall friendliness. The web has a way of destroying these kinds of businesses, making things much more convenient and much more cost-effective than any small-scale local shop could ever do on its own. 

Local businesses are destroyed by the internet, especially after something like the pandemic. Now, more shops than ever are popping up and taking over the web, some of them without the same local flair. While shops online can be more convenient, they are not always the best bet over those in person. 

Distraction 

Aussies use the web more than 40 hours per week. With that kind of time, there is room for many more things, including picking up a newer and healthier habit. One of the largest disadvantages is the fact that it’s a major distraction, which could take away from quality time with friends and family and even work. Anything that gets in the way of one’s livelihood is considered a serious addiction, one that can be difficult to break. 

The Future of the Internet in Australia


There is a large number of Aussies using the web, and it seems that it’s not going to change any time soon. As a matter of fact, all forecasts are predicting that internet use will definitely increase, and at a rate that’s alarming to most. Due to the fact that there is a larger push to create connections all around Australia and because of the increased availability, internet use is expected to increase to 90% by 2025. 

That means that a large majority of the population will be completely connected, enjoying all of the best that the web has to offer. What does that mean for Aussies on the web? They are sure to come in contact with one or more of the expected up-and-coming trends. 

More Shopping Online, Less In-Store

Online Shopping

Because of the increasing number of Aussies that love to shop online, stores are expected to adapt. Stores are expected to launch online-only lines and discounts, adding more incentive to shop online than in-store.  Additionally, they are expected to streamline the purchasing process, making it more of a click-and-done situation than a multiple-step process. 

These days, ordering things online is simple, as is returning them if they don’t quite work out. The more that Aussies shop online, the more companies are expected to increase their online presence. 

Increased Security 

There are already new and improved technologies out there to help protect users’ identities online. It’s rumored that, due to increased use of the internet, devices are expected to require some form of identification other than a password. At the moment, there are already two-factor authentications, which connect to the user’s phone or email as a second form of identification. 

There are several new thoughts up in the air, including facial and fingerprint logins. These could revolutionize digital security and could prevent cybercriminals from being able to get a hold of sensitive data. As a preventative measure, all internet users are encouraged to use password managers, webcam covers, and more to keep their identities safe. 

More Social Opportunities

Social Media

Since social media is all the buzz, the internet is expected to hone in on a few key things. Video and audio quality is a must when connecting online, as is a connection in general. All of these things are sure to see an improvement, along with improvements on social sites where Aussies can connect, share, and more.

These key things will increase the ability to connect and be social, something that all Aussies are definitely into. 

Increased Virtuality 

There are already technologies out there that attempt to immerse users into a completely virtual world. The technology is there and, not surprisingly, is used more and more each year. Just like all other technologies, virtual reality is one area where there is a lot of innovation, pushing to create the next big experience. 

Though there is nothing in the works yet (that we know of!), there will be a whole new way to experience reality, though it’s not certain how or what that will entail. Some ideas include an always-on connection that follows each user and virtual reality glasses that have access to the internet around the clock.

Advanced Forms of Communication 

In addition to the forms of communication that we already have, it’s speculated that there will be a ton of new ways to communicate, including the implantation of buds, advanced AI communication for automated tasks, and more. Communication has already taken a huge turn, with more tools and technologies out there that can understand and learn from languages. 

Due to the popularity of these kinds of tools, it’s expected to only keep getting better, creating a whole new way to communicate in the very near future. 

Zero Privacy 

Everyone needs privacy at some point. With the internet, it’s already hard enough to find it, as now there are location apps and more that could take away any privacy users have. Due to the fact that users are constantly on the web and are using it for purchases, banking, medical issue, and more, there is thought to be less privacy with the help of technology. 

It will not only take away privacy, but it will also increase the amount of information online. Sensitive information is something that all users need to protect, especially if it’s being handled by automated tools like AI and other more advanced technologies. 

Healthier Users? 

We mentioned earlier that the web is behind much of the laziness that’s hitting countries across the globe. It is an issue but, not one that’s too big for technology. Because it’s a growing issue, there are expected to be more apps and interactive technologies that push users to eat and live healthier. With help of statistics and advanced monitoring technologies, users can find out things like when they need to exercise, how much they should and should not eat, and even get a glimpse at their heart rate and sleep. 

While most of these are available today, these technologies are sure to get a sure upgrade, promoting a healthier and happier lifestyle that works with the web, not against it. 

Monitoring

While it’s not always clear who is monitoring what, increased internet usage could mean that there are more observers on the web. This plays into privacy, though it could mean that monitoring becomes more personal and invasive. There are currently no clear laws that allow authorities to tap into webcams, though it’s not out of the question. 

Everything seems to be possible with advanced technology, though not everything is as good as it seems. Some increases in security could lead to fewer freedoms online, as more regulations hit the web due to increased usage of space by users, companies, and cybercriminals alike. 

Hesitancy 

While it might not seem like it at the moment, the future of the internet could create more hesitancy to use it. One of the reasons why is because of the increasing unsafe practices by some companies and the lack of functional technologies. If companies do not take steps to increase their efficiency, they will possibly not have many users on board in the near future. 

It’s up to both companies and security providers to step up their game alongside new and advanced technologies, making sure that users can take advantage of them without having to worry about their sensitive information. 

The Internet and Australia


All of the numbers indicate a strong use of the internet and increasing use of it for all kinds of processes. Whether it’s to purchase, bank, or get social, more users than ever are surfing the web. Thanks to advanced mobile devices and the increasing power of connection, more Aussies than ever are predicted to use the web, making it one of the largest growing and powerful entities around.


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