How we spent last year online

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If you think your email inbox is overflowing each day, consider this: last year 107 trillion messages were sent via electronic mail. Yes, you read right, that’s trillion with a ‘t’. Of course a huge fraction (phenomenally, nearly 90 percent) was spam but that’s still a hell of a lot of to-ing and fro-ing online. Imagine what the dollar figure would be if these were translated to old-school telephone calls – including hoax ones?

The result was calculated by internet monitoring service, Pingdom, who flitered through company statistics and research reports as part of its effort to figure out how much email and other digital information we collectively uploaded in 2010.

Here are some other mind-blowing findings: there were 1.97 billion internet users worldwide last year alone, 825 million of them in Asia, 475 million in Europe, and 266 million in North America. Figures for Australia weren’t released at the time of publication but we figure that, per capita, our cyber-savvy people would pose a bigger percentage than the Yanks.

There were an estimated 25 billion Twitter messages sent, with the company adding over 100 million users. Facebook also saw record numbers, reaching 600 million users and now making the poster for its related film ‘The Social Network’ redundant (the ’500 million friends’ tagline).

Video usage online saw staggering growth thanks to the advent and popularity of smartphones equipped with in-built cameras and easy upload facilities. The human race watched 60 billion videos on Youtube every month, totalling 730 billion videos over the course of the year.

The number of websites jumped 10% to 255 million, with totals of 90 million domain names fixed with the .com suffix, 13 million with .net, and 9 million with .org. The total of country code domains currently sits at around 80 million.

Think about all this the next time you take an online message from a friend for granted. But don’t let it do your head in just yet. Next year’s figures are sure to be even more of overwhelming.

Image, detail of the cover of M.I.A.’s album ‘MAYA’ available through XL Recordings.