The Web is More Than Just a Communicator

The Web is More Than Just a Communicator

The Internet continues to become more ingrained in people’s everyday lives around the world, according to The Face of the Web, an annual study of Internet trends by Ipsos, a global marketing research firm. In 2002, over half (54%) of the total population in the 12 countries indicated that they had, at some time, used the Internet. This represents a significant increase since the study was last conducted in 2000.

As more people use the Internet, the frequency of trying specific activities has also increased. In particular, those respondents who have used the Internet in the past 30 days were very likely to be using it more robustly. “The Internet has become a medium for more than just surfing for information,” said Brian Cruikshank, an author of the study. “The number of Internet users who are buying products and services online continues to grow. This bodes well for established online retailers who have improved their service and distribution. Two markets in particular stand out: the U.S., where 77% of Internet users have bought a product or service online, and the United Kingdom, where 68% have purchased online.”

Among the key findings:

  • Globally, 68% of Internet users report having sent or received pictures or videos;
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Internet users have purchased a product or service online, up dramatically from 36% of respondents in 2000.
  • 44% report having downloaded a music file;
  • 38% played a video game online;
  • 37% conducted an online financial transaction;
  • And 24% burned a CD of digital music files downloaded off the Internet.

The largest increases in music downloading occurred in China, Russia, Mexico and Brazil. Well over half of all Internet users in every country said they had sent/received pictures/video. More than three-quarters (76%) of American and Canadian Internet users said they had done so. Large numbers of Internet users in the less developed nations of China (74%) and Russia (73%) also had done so.

Playing online video games increased modestly from 2000 to 2002 Online video games are much more popular among Asian Internet users, with 59% of South Koreans and 58% of Chinese respondents reporting that they had played an online video game.

“Clearly Internet users have become, and continue to become, more comfortable making purchases and banking online—not simply communicating,” Cruikshank noted.

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