Social media, smartphone and Internet usage is rising in ‘developing countries’ while developed countries’ usage plateaus according to the latest report from the Pew research group. It records that from 2013-2017 usage and access has been increasing more rapidly in developing nations than elsewhere.
However its survey also shows considerable digital divides between areas of the world. It is still the case that people in richer countries have higher rates of internet use and smartphone ownership. This is illustrated really well in this diagram
However, there are some areas of the world such as the Middle East where social media usage is more popular than in western ‘developed nations’
For more information on global inequality with regard to the Internet try these resources:
- ITU has global ICT data– the 2017 reports provide details of worldwide coverage which enable worldwide gaps by gender and region to be tracked.
- The World Economic Forum produces every two years the Global Information Technology report. In 2016 it included a networked readiness index which measured the ability of a nation to use ICT to its full ‘i.e. the extent to which it had the infrastructure and policies to support digital development.
- UNCTAD produces annual information economy reports which survey national and regional trends in the adoption of ICT for trade and economic development.