The internet as we know it has become such a pervasive part of our lives that most of us can’t imagine a world without it. Whether you’re browsing websites, conducting business or communicating with friends and family half a world away, the internet has made so many things possible that just a generation ago would have been considered unimaginable.
Yet there are so many things about the internet that many of us don’t know. Here are ten exciting facts about the internet that may surprise you.
1. There are close to 2 billion websites on the internet today
As of December 2018, there are more than 1.94 billion websites online and between 4 and 5 million blog posts being published on the internet daily, providing plenty of content for the billions of internet users online today.
2. Out of the close to 7.7 billion people on earth today, more than 4.1 billion are online
The number of internet users has been growing exponentially since the internet exploded in popularity. Around 40% of the global population is now connected to the internet, up from 1% in 1995.
3. Most internet users are from China
China accounts for close to 20% of internet users, with more than 802 million people online in China right now. In fact, the number of Chinese internet users is more than the combined total populations of the U.S., Mexico, Japan and Russia. Internet use is so prevalent in Chinese culture that China has even opened addiction camps to treat the growing rate of individuals addicted to being online.
4. The world’s first website is still online and will turn 28 this year
The world’s first website became publicly available online on August 6, 1991 and is still accessible to this day. Published by British physicist, CERN researcher and inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, info.cern.ch is a very basic HTML site written with only a few lines of code. It was originally used to facilitate the transfer of information between researchers and students from different universities.
5. Without an Internet Service Provider you wouldn’t be able to get online
Having an ISP, or Internet Service Provider, is what allows you to connect to all the people and content you find online. Think of your ISP as a piece of the pipeline that carries internet traffic all over the world. Although different websites are hosted on different ISP’s, they all communicate with each other and allow for the transfer of data between them. By paying a fee to your ISP, you’re purchasing a piece of that pipeline and an online address, allowing you to send and receive files from other connected devices.
6. More than 250 billion emails are sent out every day
The staggering number of online correspondence sent out daily is growing too. Back in 2010, only about 247 billion daily emails were sent. What’s worse is that more than 80% of these emails are spam!
7. There’s a lot of money to be made online
It’s estimated that there will be more than $3.45 trillion spent on online sales this year as people spend an average of 5 hours each week shopping on the internet. E-commerce is expected to continue its massive growth, becoming the largest global retail channel by 2021 with a forecasted $4.88 trillion market size.
8. About 80% of all online content is NSFW
People have always taken pleasure in viewing the naked female form and the advent of the internet has made it even easier to create, share and enjoy erotica. Statistics show that 12% of all websites and one third of all downloads are NSFW. In fact, before images were even a thing on the internet, people traded ASCII porn online made from only 95 printable text characters.
9. More than 90,000 sites are hacked daily
Cybercriminals use highly advanced computer software to scan for websites with exploitable vulnerabilities that can be hacked easily. Most of these sites (about 83%) use the WordPress platform.
10. The very first YouTube video is called “Me at the zoo”
It was uploaded on April 23, 2005 and features Jawed Karim, one of the site’s founders, exploring San Diego Zoo. YouTube has grown considerably since then, with more than 70 hours of new content uploaded to the video-sharing platform every minute.