27 December 2005

Internet has 1 Billion Users!

Just discovered this on Web Pro News, and I'm still trying to get my head around what the read implications of this could be.

One Billion Web Users Need Better Websites
By: Jason Lee Miller

Some time this year, the number of Internet users reached one
billion. Billion with a "b." If you count to one billion at one
number per second, it would take you over 31 years to finish. It has
taken the Internet 36 years to count that high, says web usability
expert and former Sun Microsystems engineer Dr. Jakob Nielsen. The
next 10 years will bring the second billion, growing at an annual
rate of 18 percent, and will include unprecedented numbers from Asia
and senior citizens-and that has huge implications in e-commerce.

Statistically, says Nielsen, the one billionth online user was a
24-year-old woman in Shanghai. Only 23 percent come from North
America, leaving 24 percent in Europe and 36 percent in Asia. By
2015, though accounting for nearly one-third of e-commerce, North
Americans will consist of only 15 percent of Internet users.

"This means that for e-commerce to fulfill its potential to double,
sites must be more systematic at following the e-commerce usability
guidelines. Selling to the 200 million early adopters was easy. The
800 million mainstream users who are now starting to shop need much
smoother sites; the next billion will require even higher usability
levels," writes Nielsen.

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