Meet the 5 Companies Aiming to Bring the Web to 4.3 Billion New People
Infographic sponsored by: Datawind
The internet is an essential part of our daily lives, but it is actually only used by a minority of the world’s population. 4.3 billion people across the world do not yet have access to the web.
In fact, there are seven countries where more than 100 million people are not yet connected: Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, India, and Indonesia.
Internet penetration in developed countries such as the United States and Canada is high, averaging about 74%. However, in some of the world’s most populous regions, only about one in five people have access.
In the coming decades, we will see a great revolution as billions of new people get instant access to knowledge, tools, communication, and opportunities for the first time. A study by Deloitte concludes that bringing internet access to developing countries could boost productivity worldwide by 25%, generate $2.2 trillion in GDP, create 140 million new jobs, and lift 160 million people out of poverty.
With many of the world’s brightest minds and entrepreneurs not yet connected to the web, it remains to be seen what new world-shaping technologies and companies will be born.
However, connecting 4.3 billion people to the grid is no easy feat. Many people with no internet access live in remote areas without infrastructure or even reliable water or power. Solving these issues creates one of the largest and most challenging business opportunities the world has seen.
To succeed, companies must be bold, while thinking bigger and outside of the box. Here are the companies and technologies that will further connect our world:
In 2014, Facebook made $4.8 billion from online ad revenue and Google made $19.1 billion. Together, that comprises 50% of all online ad revenues.
If the worldwide audience for their services grows, that means a much bigger target audience for their services. As a result, both companies have been making big investments to build their networks.
Google is aiming to cover the sky with floating celltowers and solar-powered drones. Project Loon, officially launched as a Google project in 2013, aims to send thousands of high-flying hot air balloons 10-20km into the stratosphere to broadcast internet to the ground over remote areas. The balloons use algorithms to read wind currents and navigate the globe, all while beaming down an internet signal.
Google has broken its own records for flight duration, having a balloon that lasted 187 days in the air, circumnavigating the globe nine times and passing over more than a dozen countries on four continents along the way.
Google also outbid Facebook for Titan Aerospace in 2014 for $60 million. Titan builds the world’s biggest solar powered drones. These can also broadcast internet to the ground, and are described by Google as “exactly where Project Loon was two years ago in development.”
Facebook is also experimenting with satellites and drones. However, the bulk of its operations to expand the internet’s reach are through its newly formed Internet.org initiative founded in 2013. Partnering with telecoms and mobile operators like Microsoft and Samsung, Internet.org has launched apps in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Colombia, Ghana, and India.
Internet.org provides free access to basic internet services since it is the cost of data is one of the biggest challenges for people to absorb in developing countries. However, Facebook has been criticized for Internet.org because of the practice of zero-rating. Making some services free while having others cost money is at the heart of the debate on net neutrality.
Aside from Big Tech, there are other companies taking big steps to bringing the internet to the rest of the planet.
While most of the developed world accesses internet through broadband, the cost of building the infrastructure for such networks make it a less feasible endeavour for most remote regions. That is why 90% of the world does not have fixed broadband access.
Even if it existed, the cost of broadband is very expensive for people in developing countries, costing 27% of monthly gross income on average. However, Datawind has found another way to tackle the problem. Datawind has developed proprietary technology to reduce the amount of data being transmitted over cellular networks by approximately 20X on average.
This allows them to provide internet access to the 93% of the world that does have mobile access mostly through 2G coverage. By turning 1MB of data into 0.05MB and pairing this service with building some of the world’s cheapest tablets and smartphones, Datawind is able to bring internet browsing costs to as low as $0.70 per month.
O3b Networks, backed by Google and HSBC, is solving the traditional problem with satellite networks: latency.
The company has a growing constellation of satellites that orbit the Earth at 8,000km, about 4X closer than traditional geosynchronous satellites. The resulting signal provides internet speeds that rival fiberoptic networks.
BRCK, designed an prototyped in Kenya, is a rugged and portable hotspot that can broadcast WIFI or a cell signal via multiple networks. BRCK has its own power source and can be recharged via solar power. The battery lasts for eight hours in full power mode in the case of blackouts, a common problem in Africa and the developing world.
The internet impacts nearly every aspect of modern society and serves as a powerful economic stimulator. The opportunity to connect 4.3 billion people to the internet is not only a business opportunity, but one that will improve everyone’s standard of living.
Visualizing the Evolution of Consumer Credit
See how consumer credit has evolved through the ages — from its ancient origins, to the use of game-changing technologies like artificial intelligence.
The origin of credit dates all the way back to ancient civilizations.
The Sumerians and later the Babylonians both used consumer loans in their societies, primarily for agricultural purposes. The latter civilization even had rules about maximum lending rates engraved in the famous Code of Hammurabi.
But since then, consumer credit — and how we calculate creditworthiness — has gotten increasingly sophisticated. This is so much the case that technology now used in modern credit scoring would seem completely alien to people living just a few decades ago.
Video: Consumer Credit Through the Ages
Today’s motion graphic video is powered by Equifax, and it shows the evolution of consumer credit over the last 5,000 years.
The video highlights how consumer credit has worked both in the past and in the present. It also dives into the technologies that will be shaping the future of credit, including artificial intelligence and the blockchain.
A Brief History of Credit
We previously visualized the 5,000-year history of consumer credit, and how it dramatically changed over many centuries and societies.
What may have started as agricultural loans in Sumer and Babylon eventually became more ingrained in Ancient Roman society. In the year 50 B.C., for example, Cicero documented a transaction that occurred, and wrote “nomina facit, negotium conficit” — or, “he uses credit to complete the purchase”.
Modern consumer credit itself was born in England in 1803, when a group of English tailors came together to swap information on customers that failed to settle their debts. Eventually, extensive credit lists of customers started being compiled, with lending really booming in the 20th century as consumers started buying big ticket items like cars and appliances.
Later, the innovation of credit cards came about, and in the 1980s, modern credit scoring was introduced.
The Present and Future of Credit
The modern numeric credit score came about in 1989, and it uses logistic regression to assess five categories related to a consumer’s creditworthiness: payment history, debt burden, length of credit history, types of credit used, and new credit requests.
However, in the current era of big data and emerging technologies, companies are now finding new ways to advance credit models — and how these change will affect how consumers get credit in the future.
Consumer credit is already changing thanks to new methods such as trended data and alternative data. These both look at the bigger picture beyond traditional scoring, pulling in new data sources and using predictive methods to more accurately encapsulate creditworthiness.
In general, the future of credit will be shaped by five forces:
- Growing amounts of data
- A changing regulatory landscape
- Game-changing technologies
- Focus on identity
- The fintech boom
Through these forces, new credit models will integrate artificial intelligence, neural networks, big data, and more complex statistical methods. In short, credit patterns can be more accurately predicted using mountains of data and new technologies.
Finally, the credit landscape is set to shift in other ways, as well.
Regulatory forces are pushing data to be standardized and controlled directly by consumers, enabling a range of new fintech applications to benefit consumers. Meanwhile, the industry itself will be focusing in on identity to build trust and limit fraud, using technologies such as biometrics and blockchain to prove a borrower’s identity.
Ranking the Top 100 Websites in the World
The top 100 websites ranking reveals how people around the world search for information, which services they use, and how they spend time online.
As a greater portion of the world begins to live more of their life online, the world’s top 100 websites continue to see explosive growth in their traffic numbers.
To claim even the 100th spot in this ranking, your website would need around 350 million visits in a single month. Using data from SimilarWeb, we’ve visually mapped out the top 100 biggest websites on the internet. Examining the ranking reveals a lot about how people around the world search for information, which services they use, and how they spend time online.
Note: This is a ranking of biggest websites, specifically. Brands that extend across platforms or serve the majority of their users through an app will not necessarily rank well on this list. As a result, you’ll notice the absence of companies like WeChat and Snapchat.
The Top 100 Websites
The 100 biggest websites generated a staggering 206 billion visits in June 2019. Google, YouTube, and Facebook took the top spots, followed by Baidu and Wikipedia. Below is the full ranking:
|Global Rank||Domain||Monthly visits (billions)||Parent||Country|
|1||Google.com||60.49||Alphabet Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|2||Youtube.com||24.31||Alphabet Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|3||Facebook.com||19.98||Facebook, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|4||Baidu.com||9.77||Baidu, Inc||🇨🇳 China|
|5||Wikipedia.org||4.69||Wikimedia Foundation||🇺🇸 United States|
|6||Twitter.com||3.92||Twitter, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|7||Yahoo.com||3.74||Verizon Comm. Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|9||Instagram.com||3.21||Facebook, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|10||xvideos.com||3.19||WGCZ Holding||🇨🇿 Czech Republic|
|12||ampproject.org||2.76||N/A||🇺🇸 United States|
|13||xnxx.com||2.47||WGCZ Holding||🇨🇿 Czech Republic|
|14||amazon.com||2.41||Amazon.com, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|15||live.com||2.25||Microsoft Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|16||vk.com||2.16||Mail.ru Group||🇷🇺 Russia|
|17||netflix.com||1.81||Netflix, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|19||whatsapp.com||1.76||Facebook, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|20||mail.ru||1.64||Mail.ru Group||🇷🇺 Russia|
|21||Reddit.com||1.55||Advance Publications||🇺🇸 United States|
|22||yahoo.co.jp||1.5||Verizon Comm. Inc||🇯🇵 Japan|
|23||google.com.br||1.38||Alphabet Inc||🇧🇷 Brazil|
|24||bing.com||1.32||Microsoft Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|25||ok.ru||1.08||Mail.ru Group||🇷🇺 Russia|
|26||xhamster.com||1.06||Hammy Media Ltd||🇨🇾 Cyprus|
|27||sogou.com||1||Tencent, Sohu Inc||🇨🇳 China|
|28||ebay.com||0.95||eBay Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|29||bit.ly||0.95||Spectrum Equity||🇺🇸 United States|
|30||twitch.tv||0.91||Amazon.com, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|31||linkedin.com||0.91||Microsoft Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|32||samsung.com||0.89||Samsung Group||🇰🇷 South Korea|
|33||sm.cn||0.81||Alibaba Group||🇨🇳 China|
|34||msn.com||0.8||Microsoft Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|35||office.com||0.79||Microsoft Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|36||globo.com||0.74||Grupo Globo||🇧🇷 Brazil|
|37||taobao.com||0.74||Alibaba Group||🇨🇳 China|
|38||pinterest.com||0.74||Pinterest, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|39||google.de||0.73||Alphabet Inc||🇩🇪 Germany|
|40||Microsoft.com||0.72||Microsoft Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|41||accuweather.com||0.71||AccuWeather Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|42||naver.com||0.64||Naver Corporation||🇰🇷 South Korea|
|43||aliexpress.com||0.64||Alibaba Group||🇨🇳 China|
|44||fandom.com||0.61||Wikia Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|45||quora.com||0.58||Quora Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|46||github.com||0.57||Microsoft Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|47||imdb.com||0.57||Amazon.com, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|48||uol.com.br||0.56||Grupo Folha||🇧🇷 Brazil|
|49||docomo.ne.jp||0.56||Tata Teleservices||🇯🇵 Japan|
|51||bbc.co.uk||0.55||Public owned||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|53||paypal.com||0.53||Paypal||🇺🇸 United States|
|54||google.fr||0.53||Alphabet Inc||🇫🇷 France|
|55||yidianzixun.com||0.51||Particle Inc||🇨🇳 China|
|56||wordpress.com||0.51||Automattic||🇺🇸 United States|
|57||news.google.com||0.51||Alphabet Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|59||duckduckgo.com||0.51||Duck Duck Go, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|60||google.co.uk||0.51||Alphabet Inc||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|61||10086.cn||0.5||China Mobile||🇨🇳 China|
|62||iqiyi.com||0.5||Baidu, Inc||🇨🇳 China|
|63||booking.com||0.5||Booking Holdings||🇺🇸 United States|
|64||amazon.co.jp||0.49||Amazon.com, Inc||🇯🇵 Japan|
|65||cricbuzz.com||0.49||Times Internet||🇮🇳 India|
|66||taboola.com||0.48||Taboola Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|67||amazon.de||0.48||Amazon.com, Inc||🇩🇪 Germany|
|68||cnn.com||0.47||Turner Broadcasting||🇺🇸 United States|
|69||jd.com||0.47||Various (Tencent 20%)||🇨🇳 China|
|70||apple.com||0.47||Apple Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|71||google.it||0.45||Alphabet Inc||🇮🇹 Italy|
|72||bilibili.com||0.44||Bilibili Inc||🇨🇳 China|
|73||google.co.jp||0.44||Alphabet Inc||🇯🇵 Japan|
|74||livejasmin.com||0.44||Docler Group||🇱🇺 Luxembourg|
|75||tmall.com||0.44||Alibaba Group||🇨🇳 China|
|76||news.yahoo.co.jp||0.44||Verizon Comm. Inc||🇯🇵 Japan|
|77||youtu.be||0.44||Alphabet Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|78||tribunnews.com||0.43||Kompas Gramedia Group||🇮🇩 Indonesia|
|79||amazon.co.uk||0.43||Amazon.com, Inc||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|80||chaturbate.com||0.43||Multi Media LLC||🇺🇸 United States|
|81||google.co.in||0.41||Alphabet Inc||🇮🇳 India|
|82||craigslist.org||0.41||Craigslist||🇺🇸 United States|
|83||imgur.com||0.41||Imgur Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|84||bbc.com||0.41||Public owned||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|85||fc2.com||0.39||FC2, Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|88||tumblr.com||0.37||Verizon||🇺🇸 United States|
|89||foxnews.com||0.36||Fox Corporation||🇺🇸 United States|
|90||rakuten.co.jp||0.36||Rakuten Inc||🇯🇵 Japan|
|91||google.es||0.36||Alphabet Inc||🇪🇸 Spain|
|92||outbrain.com||0.36||Outbrain Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
|93||discordapp.com||0.36||Various||🇺🇸 United States|
|94||amazon.in||0.35||Amazon.com, Inc||🇮🇳 India|
|96||weather.com||0.34||Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC||🇺🇸 United States|
|98||youku.com||0.34||Alibaba Group||🇨🇳 China|
|99||adobe.com||0.34||Adobe Inc||🇺🇸 United States|
Search Reigns Supreme
Search engines provide the connective tissue that binds the internet together, and they accounted for the majority of website traffic in the top 100 ranking.
Google is the undisputed top website in nearly every country in the world. In fact, Alphabet’s 11 domains in the top 100 ranking – including YouTube and a number of international versions of Google – racked up an impressive 90 billion visits in a single month.
Exceptions to Google’s dominance can be found in China (Baidu) and Russia (Yandex), where homegrown search engines have managed to capture the domestic market.
One scrappy competitor, DuckDuckGo, is slowly gaining prominence as an alternative to Google. The search engine’s focus on user privacy appears to be resonating with internet users as the site’s traffic has surpassed 500 million visits per month.
Full Stream Ahead
Video streaming and sharing is another major driver of global internet traffic.
Thanks to high-powered phones and bigger data plans, video is now a prominent portion of internet content consumption. This can take a few forms, from binge watching TV shows on Netflix to short-form video uploads on platforms like Douyin and Instagram.
Live streaming is increasingly a bigger part of the mix. Twitch, which is focused on gaming, is now ranked 30th in the world in web traffic. The Amazon-owned platform is now so popular that on any given night, its viewership surpasses many of the major U.S. cable networks.
Of course, this category also includes adult content, which is well represented in this ranking. XNXX, XVideos, and PornHub all made the top 20, and the three websites combined for over nine billion visits in the most recent month of data available.
Old Dogs, New Tricks
Classic web portals such as MSN and Yahoo are still putting up impressive traffic numbers, but major players are increasingly staying relevant by acquiring rising internet stars.
In the case of Microsoft, acquiring Github and Linkedin helped the company target new markets and grow their overall presence online. Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch proved to be a good bet, and Instagram continues to breathe new life into Facebook, which has seen a backlash focused on its original namesake social network.
The project is not without controversy though.
Critics point out that cached AMP pages – which are hosted by Google – essentially cut out content creators, and that non-compliant pages may lose their ranking on mobile search results. As the project moves towards becoming a foundation, it remains to be seen how AMP will evolve and how much involvement Google will have in the future.
The Geography of the Top 100 Websites
The internet may be a global network, but many of the gatekeepers are still located in the United States. If international domain suffixes of companies like Amazon and Google are counted, 60 of the 100 websites in the ranking are American.
Below is a breakdown of the Top 100 by country.
China is a strong runner-up, with 15 websites in the Top 100. While most of these Chinese companies are focused on the sizable domestic market, some are also making global inroads through investment. Tencent has partially backed the fast-growing chat platform, Discord, and it also has double-digit stakes in Snapchat and Spotify.
With the exception of Baidu, all of the biggest websites in the world have swelled in size by serving a global audience. As the tech market continues to mature in China, it remains to be seen whether Chinese companies can successfully move beyond the firewall to become the next Facebook or Google.
Correction: Bilibili, a website run by a Chinese company, was incorrectly identified as a Japanese company.
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