Internet growth in 2018 and domain industry

Public statistics show that there are more than 4 billion internet users globally. That means more than half of the world is browsing the internet, using social media and getting online. Much of this growth comes from affordable smartphones and mobile internet becoming available with less-developed regions such as Africa.

Latest statistic from VeriSign states that the third quarter of 2018 closed with more than 342 million domain name registrations which are around 3.5% growth from last year. The domains that had the largest number of registrations are .COM with more than 137.6 million domains and .NET with 14.1 million domains. Chinese .CN is the strongest ccTLD with 22.7 million domains and second is the .TK (Tokelau) domain name with 21.5 million domains.

The number of internet users who also use social media is growing with a user-base of more than 3 billion people around the world, despite Facebook losing young users. The main reason why is that Facebook is losing its “cool” factor, while young people don’t seem to care about saving their life online and publicly.

Even though this was the hardest year for Facebook, engulfed by controversies over fake news, electoral interference, privacy violations, and other issues, they still dominate the global social landscape. Yes, the large number of US users are closing their Facebook accounts, but global growth is present with a number of regions such as the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia … etc.

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It is easy to speculate further internet penetration with low-penetration regions such as central Africa and South Asia. Saudi Arabia has posted the highest growth rate for a single country, with India being second. All countries can contribute part of this growth to a larger number of older users joining social media.

Because people are using mobile devices to browse the internet, the trend is to use a signature app of a specific device rather than an internet browser. Statistics show people are spending considerably more time with mobile apps than with mobile browsers.

The good news for domain industry is that the number of people using e-commerce platforms to buy consumer goods is growing, though again, penetration varies significantly with different countries.

It is important to note this year we have witnessed significant efforts by Google to promote PWA (progressive-web-applications). PWA apps are essentially an integration of a website and app which adapts flawlessly to the device you are using, similarly to responsive websites but better and more functional. PWA apps need a domain name as they are not “local apps” that are installed into the local memory of the device.

All this coupled will only increase the need for high-quality and domain names in general. Internet growth with 2018 will help domain industry expand a new in 2019.