We use the internet for a lot these days. We stream videos, listen to music, search for local businesses, check the weather, and so much more. There’s a lot of data being created by our traffic, and that data can tell us a lot about internet trends, and what users want. The only problem is getting access to that data, and compiling it.
Domo’s “Data Never Sleeps”
For the past five years, Domo’s been trying to help with that. As a sort of preview of how helpful their data analysis software can be for businesses, they’ve been compiling some of the data regarding internet activity in a given minute and then sharing it with the rest of us. They call this project “Data Never Sleeps,” and they’ve revealed some very interesting trends with their infographics. The internet it seems (and the data produced by using it) is only increasing and accelerating.
The Rise of the Internet
Back in 2000 when the internet was still in its infancy, the population of the world wide web was a measly 400 million. That number has seen explosive growth, reaching 3.7 in 2017. A lot has contributed to that growth; in those early days, most people who had an internet connection still had dial-up. As the connections have improved and bandwidths have increased, new options have opened up on the web. By 2008, for instance, people were streaming Netflix on their Nintendo Wiis.
With increased functionality (like online bill paying, e-commerce, and social media) came dramatic increases in population. Now, we’re generating data like never before—data that can be used to make intelligent business decisions.
What This Year’s Data Means
This year’s data can point to a couple of important changes in the internet status quo, especially when it’s compared to previous years. Here are some of the stats in a given internet minute:
- 3,607,080 Google searches
- 527,760 Snapchat photo shares
- 456,000 tweets
- 18,055,555 Weather Channel forecast requests
- 69,444 hours of Netflix streaming
Comparing these numbers to previous years tells us a few things. First of all, Google’s search traffic had been on the rise but took a bit of hit this year. This could mean either a) that people are conducting fewer searches (which is unlikely) or b) other search engines have finally managed to secure a foothold in the market. Heaven knows Bing has been trying as hard as it can.
Social media is also in flux. While Facebook is still the juggernaut it’s always been, it wasn’t listed in the current edition of “Data Never Sleeps”; likely an indication that it hasn’t changed in a noteworthy way (i.e., it’s traffic and usage hasn’t increased). Meanwhile, other platforms have been steadily climbing, with Snapchat being the most dramatic. It even overtook Twitter this year in shares.
One more detail worth discussing is the dip in Netflix usage: just last year, subscribers were streaming 86,805 hours a minute, compared to this year’s fewer than 70k hours. Why the drop-off? There could be a couple of reasons, but one of them may be the rise of on-demand internet streaming for TV shows. Services like Hulu make their money by offering episodes the day after they come out, rather than sometime after the season has concluded. That means that people can practically watch their shows live instead of waiting for months.
There’s lots of wisdom to be gleaned from the data available, and a comprehensive list would not be possible here. We just wanted to point out how valuable data can be, and how it can help make powerful decisions that can affect how profitable your business is. And there’s a lot of it out there; that’s because, as you may have heard, it doesn’t sleep.