comScore Networks have released new internet usage figures for January 2007, with a 12 month comparison. According to comScore “Worldwide Internet Audience has Grown 10 Percent in the Last Year”.
A staggering 747 million people worldwide, aged 15 and over, used the internet in January 2007, a 10 percent increase over January 2006. India, Russia and China had the highest audience increase of 33, 21 and 20 percent respectively. China now holds the gong for the second largest online audience worldwide, with 86.8 million users in January 2007, following the U.S. which had a 2 percent increase to 153.5 million.
Bob Ivins, managing director, comScore Europe, states
“The importance of the worldwide Internet population continues to grow. Internet users outside the U.S. now account for 80 percent of the world’s online population, with rapidly developing countries experiencing double-digit growth rates year-over-year.”
Online businesses willing to tackle these emerging new markets, and a global audience, can experience phenomenal returns and growth. That said, I think many smaller businesses are weary of treading unknown foreign waters as they may stand to lose more than they gain! It will be interesting to see how many companies capitalize on this growing international market, and exactly how they do it.