photo by World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr
As the number of people coming online for the first time soars across the globe, the world’s economic and social ecosystems await a major jolt.
With about 9 people coming online for the first time each second (and rising), the world is set to be connected in ways unlike anyone has seen before. Just what does that mean for humanity as a whole?
Below are five things you need to know about the rising billion.
1.) Four billion without access to the Internet represents a major opportunity
Though the world is significantly more connected than ever before (in 1995 there were one billion, now there are three) the majority of the world is still unconnected.
These four billion people represent a major opportunity for the economy, social activism, education, and the myriad of other benefits the Internet provides to users.
2.) The number of people gaining Internet access is rising extremely fast
Some predictions like that of futurists Peter Diamandis forecast that the entirety of the world – seven plus billion people – will come online at some point between 2016 and 2020.
3.) Developing nations are quickly integrating into their lives
In 15 of the 24 emerging nations polled in Pew’s latest look at Internet adoption around the developing world, in 2014, 20 percent of respondents reported using the Internet on a daily basis.
In countries like Jordan, the citizens of which have been quick to adopt the Internet into their lives, 47 percent of people reported using the Internet occasionally or owning a smartphone.
4.) The rise of mobile payment systems could weave together eCommerce
Though the usage of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook still constitute the biggest percentage of users’ time on the Internet, in some countries mobile payments have been exploding.
For instance, according to Pew, in Kenya an overwhelming 68 percent of cell phone owners make or receive mobile payments on a regular basis – in Uganda that number is 50 percent.
5.) There is a rising emphasis on delivering the Internet to emerging nations
As markets in developing countries across the world begin to expand, multinational companies are looking to get in on the action.
Already, companies like Facebook and Google have launched their own programs to ramp up the Internet infrastructure in countries around the world.
Facebook’s internet.org initiative is developing a host of technologies which include futuristic solutions like utililizing drones to beam internet into people’s homes, while Google’s Space X program is developing satellites which they say could deliver internet to everyone in the world.