Internet users worldwide surpass 1 billion

More than 1 billion Internet users accessed the Internet in December, with more than 41 percent coming from the Asia-Pacific region, according to a ComScore report released Friday.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read

McDonald's restaurants and global Internet usage share something in common: more than 1 billion served within a month.

Global Internet usage reached more than 1 billion unique visitors in December, with 41.3 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report released Friday by ComScore.

The study looked at Internet users over the age of 15 who accessed the Net from their home or work computers. Europe grabbed the next largest slice of the global Internet audience, with 28 percent, followed by the United States, with an 18.4 percent slice.

But Latin America, while comprising just 7.4 percent of the global Internet audience, is the region to watch, noted Jamie Gavin, a ComScore senior analyst.

"The U.S. is slowing down in its growth and momentum, but Latin America, with social networking and the mobile Internet, is expected to gain momentum over the next few years," Gavin said.

He noted that while population plays a role in aiding certain regions to lay claim to a larger Internet audience, another equally important factor is the ability of the Internet to easily cross borders and take root.

A closer look at countries within the regions reveals that China accounted for the most Internet users worldwide, with a 17.8 share of unique visitors. The United States ranked second, with 16.2 percent, and Japan ranked a distant third, at 6 percent.

Across specific Internet properties, Google carried a sizable share of the global Internet market, visited by 77 percent of the worldwide audience, or nearly 776 million users.

Microsoft Web sites were used by 64.2 percent of users worldwide, and Yahoo sites 55.8 percent, according to ComScore. Sites run by Time Warner's AOL, meanwhile, were used by 27.1 percent of the worldwide Internet audience.