The internet revolution has left no stone untouched. Indeed, the information superhighway, as it was once known, means that the kinds of information to the most banal of trivia in an argument with a friend is accessible at the touch of a button. We now have what once – not long ago, in fact – would have been considered super computers in our pockets, a nearly ubiquitous phenomenon in some parts of the western world.
It is nothing short of staggering to consider the amount of technological change that has occurred in the world over the past twenty years or so that penetration has really grown deep. This change has been most remarkably felt in parts of the world where primary industry is still heavily relied on, where it is possible to witness the utter transformation of lives just within a single generation of families. Countries like the Philippines represent monumental change in terms of shift of lifestyle, culture, and industry. Let’s take a closer look at just what has been going on, and what is to come.
The Numbers do not Lie
Recent statistics reveal that as a global phenomenon, internet growth is staggering. There’s been an annual growth of 21%, with an overall penetration of 42% for a total of some 3 billion active internet users. Among those, 2.1 billion are active on social media, especially the younger purveyors of the internet. Perhaps what is most notable is that there means there are still nearly four and a half billion users still to be connected, and at a such an alarming growth rate, it will not take long to get there; that figure will soon be old news.
The Asia Pacific region makes up nearly half of the total internet users in the world at 46%. Sixth largest among all Asian countries is the Philippines with 44.2 million internet users, but that number is projected to have doubled by now, bringing that figure to almost 90 million, or almost 90% of the total population.
Going by the numbers, almost all of those who are connected are using social media accounts, with over three quarters of that figure which are active on mobile devices, and even more impressively a full 114% of the population of the Philippines is connected through mobile. A number of people are using more than one mobile account, and of course, many of people are accessing the internet through their phones. All told, looking at a broader picture, access to internet has grown by about 500% in the past four years.
Living on the Internet
Filipinos spend a lot of time on the internet by average figures, too. Whether that is because they are busy gaming is not known; what is known is that ‘a lot of time’ is actually an understatement, because they spend the most amount of time online with an average of 6.3 hours per day on their laptops and desktops. That’s almost two full hours per day more than the global average, in addition to 3.3 hours per day on their mobile devices. To be clear, that means that Filipinos spend almost a shocking 10 hours per day, on average, in the digital realm of the internet.
Without an exact figure to go by, there is a good chance that a lot of that time is spent on social networks like Facebook, where over 94% of all internet users have an account on popular site. For comparison’s sake, that is 40% more penetration than in the US, a truly impressive figure. There is a good chance that a lot of that time is spent playing games on the social media giant; for an example of the apps available, click here.
Access though Smartphone Penetration
Smartphone sales are also through the roof thanks to strong economic growth and a young and dynamic demographic that is eager and willing to engage in smart phone activity. As an idea, penetration of smart phone usage in the Philippines is growing faster than Indonesia and Vietnam put together. These are mostly sales of underpowered Android devices.
If one thing is clear, it is that the Philippines is an internet powerhouse and will continue to be for years to come.