The World’s Most Used Apps, by Downstream Traffic
Of the millions of apps available around the world, just a small handful of the most used apps dominate global internet traffic.
Everything connected to the internet takes bandwidth to view. When you look at something on your smartphone—whether it’s a new message on Instagram or the next few seconds of a YouTube video—your device is downloading the data in the background.
And the bigger the files, the more bandwidth is utilized. In this chart, we break down of the most used apps by category, using Sandvine’s global mobile traffic report for 2021 Q1.
Video Drives Global Mobile Internet Traffic
The biggest files use the most data, and video files take the cake.
According to Android Central, streaming video ranges from about 0.7GB per hour of data for a 480p video to 1.5GB per hour for 1080. A 4K stream, the highest resolution currently offered by most providers, uses around 7.2GB per hour.
That’s miles bigger than audio files, where high quality 320kbps music streams use an average of just 0.12GB per hour. Social network messages are usually just a few KB, while the pictures found on them can range from a few hundred KB for a low resolution image to hundreds of MB for high resolution.
Understandably, breaking down mobile downstream traffic by app category shows that video is on top by a long shot:
|Category||Downstream Traffic Share (2021 Q1)|
|VPN and Security||0.9%|
Video streaming accounts for almost half of mobile downstream traffic worldwide at 49%. Audio streaming, including music and podcasts, accounts for just 0.2%.
Comparatively, social network and web browsing combined make up one third of downstream internet traffic. Games, marketplace apps, and file sharing, despite their large file sizes, only require one-time downloads that don’t put as big of a strain on traffic as video does.
A Handful of Companies Own the Most Used Apps
Though internet traffic data is broken down by category, it’s worth noting that many apps consume multiple types of bandwidth.
For example, messaging and social network apps, like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat, allow consumers to stream video, social network, and message.
Even marketplace apps like iTunes and Google Play consume bandwidth for video and audio streaming, and together account for 6.3% of total mobile downstream traffic.
But no single app had a bigger footprint than YouTube, which accounts for 20.4% of total global downstream bandwidth.
|Category||Top Apps (Category Traffic)||Category Traffic Share|
|Video Streaming||Facebook Video||14.6%|
The world’s tech giants had the leading app in the four biggest data streaming categories. Alphabet’s YouTube and Google made up almost half of all video streaming and web browsing traffic, while Facebook’s own app, combined with Instagram and WhatsApp, accounted for 93% of global social networking traffic and 45% of messaging traffic.
Traffic usage by app highlights the data monopoly of tech giants and internet providers. Since just a few companies account for a majority of global smartphone internet traffic, they have a lot more bartering power (and responsibility) when it comes to our general internet consumption.
Ranked: Which Countries Drink the Most Beer?
Global consumption exceeded 185 million kiloliters in 2021, enough to fill more than 74,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Visualizing Global Beer Consumption
Global beer consumption exceeded 185 million kiloliters in 2021, enough to fill more than 74,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
So, which countries drink the most beer?
This graphic uses data from Kirin Holdings to compare global beer consumption by country. The Japanese company has been tracking beer consumption around the world since 1975.
Which Countries Drink the Most Beer?
Every region in the world increased its overall beer consumption in 2021 compared to 2020, with global consumption rising by 4%.
Asia holds a 31% share of the global beer market, remaining the world’s largest beer-consuming region over the last 14 years.
|Rank||Country||Total Consumption (thousand kl)||Market Share|
|7||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||4,608||2.5%|
China was the largest beer-consuming country for the 19th consecutive year.
The tradition of brewing and enjoying beer in China spans approximately nine millennia. Recent archaeological discoveries have revealed that as far back as 7000 BC, ancient Chinese communities were engaged in producing beer-like alcoholic beverages, primarily on a small and localized basis.
China was also the leading producer of beer in 2022, followed by the United States.
Beer Consumption Per Capita
When examining per capita beer consumption, Asia falls behind Europe. In fact, nine of the top 10 consumers of beer per capita are European nations.
The Czech Republic remains the leader in per capita beer drinking for the 29th year. In 2021, the average Czech drank more than 184 liters of beer.
|Rank||Country||Per Capita Beer Consumption (volume in liters)||Total Consumption (thousand kl)|
|1||🇨🇿 Czech Republic||184.1||1,969|
The Czech Republic is known for its affordable beer. In some parts of the country, beer can even cost less than bottled water.
Small Brewers and Technology
Beer production is expected to rise over the next decade, boosted by new smaller brewers, particularly in Western countries.
Investments have also been made in new technology to expedite the brewing process, including the utilization of ‘BeerBots’ capable of accelerating the fermentation process.
According to Future Market Insights, the global beer market is projected to be valued at $690 billion in 2023, rising to $996 billion by 2033.
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