Industries in Depth

This is what happens in an internet minute in 2018

Ethernet cables used for internet connections are pictured in a Berlin office, August 20, 2014. The German cabinet discussed on Wednesday Germany's digital agenda for the future.   REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS)

In 2018 the average minute sees 187 million emails sent. Image: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Jeff Desjardins
Founder and editor, Visual Capitalist
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Internet of Things

In your everyday life, a minute might not seem like much.

But when it comes to the vast scale of the internet, a minute of time goes much further than you ever could have imagined. That’s because the internet has a degree of scale that our linear human brains are unaccustomed to operating on.

An internet minute in 2018

Today’s infographic is from Lori Lewis and Chadd Callahan of Cumulus Media, and it shows the activity taking place on various platforms such as Facebook or Google in each 60 second span.

It really helps put an internet minute in perspective.

Image: Visual Capitalist

Just a minute, please

The numbers for these services are so enormous that they can only be shown using the 60 second time scale.

Any bigger, and our brains can’t even process these massive quantities in any useful capacity. Here are just a few key numbers scaled to a monthly basis, for fun:

42,033,600,000 Facebook logins

159,840,000,000 Google searches

1,641,600,000,000 WhatsApp messages sent

8,078,400,000,000 emails sent

On an annualized basis, the data becomes even more ridiculous, with something close to 100 trillion emails sent. (No wonder it’s so hard to get to inbox zero!)

Previous minutes

If the internet minute visualization looks familiar, that’s because it gets updated and re-released every year using the latest data available. See below for a direct comparison of the last two years:

Image: Visual Capitalist

The biggest and most noticeable jump comes in Netflix hours watched – a number which we believe may be too good to be true. While we have not seen the exact methodology of these calculations, we do know that in December it was announced by Netflix that users were watching approximately 140 million hours per day. This works out to roughly 100,000 hours per minute according to our math, which is still mind-boggling.

See the additional evolution of this chart by checking out the 2016 version as well.

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