In our everyday lives, not much may happen in a minute. But, as Visual Capitalist's Aran Ali details below, when gauging the depth of internet activity occurring all at once, it can be extraordinary. Today, around five billion internet users exist across the globe.
This annual infographic from Domo captures just how much activity is going on in any given minute, and the amount of data being generated by users. To put it mildly, there’s a lot.
The Internet Minute
At the heart of the world’s digital activity are the everyday services and applications that have become staples in our lives. Collectively, these produce unimaginable quantities of user activity and associated data.
Here are just some of the key figures of what happens in a minute:
Amazon customers spend $283,000
12 million people send an iMessage
6 million people shop online
Instacart users spend $67,000
Slack users send 148,000 messages
Microsoft Teams connects 100,000 users
YouTube users stream 694,000 videos
Facebook Live receives 44 million views
Instagram users share 65,000 photos
Tiktok users watch 167 million videos
As these facts show, Big Tech companies have quite the influence over our lives. That influence is becoming difficult to ignore, and draws increasing media and political attention. And some see this attention as a plausible explanation for why Facebook changed their name—to dissociate from their old one in the process.
One tangible measure of this influence is the massive amount of revenue Big Tech companies bring in. To get a better sense of this, we can look at Big Tech’s revenue generating capabilities on a per-minute basis as well:
Much of the revenue that these elite trillion-dollar stocks generate can be traced back to all the activity on their various networks and platforms.
In other words, the 5.7 million Google searches that occur every minute is the key to their $433,014 in per minute sales.
The Internet Minute Over The Years
With the amount of data and information in the digital universe effectively doubling every two years, it’s fair to say the internet minute has gone through some changes over the years. Here are just some areas that have experienced impressive growth:
In 2016, Snapchat users 527k photos per minute, compared to 2 million in 2021
In 2017, Twitter saw 452k Tweets per minute, compared to 575k in 2021
In 2018, $862,823 was spent online shopping, while 2 million people were shopping per minute in 2021
In 2019, 4.5 million videos on YouTube were being viewed every minute, while in 2021 users were streaming 694k hours
In 2020, Netflix users streamed 404k hours per minute, growing to 452k hours in 2021
Here’s a look at the services that have been featured in the various iterations of this graphic over the years:
Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube are the only three brands to be featured every single year.
Internet Growth Perspectives
The Internet Minute wheel also helps to put the internet’s rapid rate of adoption into perspective. For instance, in 1993, there were only 14 million internet users across the globe. But today, there are over 14 million just in Chile.
That said, the total addressable market still has some room left. By some measures, the complete number of internet users grew by 500 million in 2021, a roughly 11% jump from 4.5 billion users in 2020. This comes out to an astonishing 950 new users on a per minute basis.
What’s more, in the long term, with the appropriate infrastructure in place, certain areas within emerging markets can experience buoyant growth in the number of connected citizens. Here’s where the next billion internet users may come from, based on the largest disconnected populations.
With this growth trajectory in mind, we can expect future figures to become even more astonishing. But the human mind is known to be bad at interpreting large numbers, so in future editions, the internet minute figures may need to be stripped down to the internet second.