For the first time, the world's largest online service is serving up more than a billion URLs a day -- 2.6 billion to be exact -- as it sees e-mail and stock ticker requests skyrocket.
A report on how America Online Inc.'s (NYSE:AOL) 17 million subscribers use the technology is the latest peek into how the Internet is rapidly finding its way into every day life.
AOL reported Wednesday that its users request an average 2.6 billion Web URLs per day this year, up from 800 million in 1998.
In addition, AOL's subscribers are sending 56 million e-mails daily, up from 28 million, and requesting 121 million stock quotes, versus 75 million a year ago.
IM tops e-mail
However, E-mail took second place for online communications for AOL users. Some 432 million instant messages are written daily in 1999, compared with 200 million in 1998. AOL's Instant Messenger technology allows users to send notes to each other instantly, without having to use e-mail.
"AOL members continue to increase their average daily time online doing more e-mailing, sending more Instant Messages, checking more stock quotes and making more online purchases, among other things-as AOL becomes more central to our members' everyday lives," said AOL President Bob Pittman in a statement.
The service said its members average 55 minutes online daily, nearly a 10-minute jump from 1998. Some 1.1 million users log on to AOL simultaneously during peak hours -- "roughly double the prime time cable television audiences of CNBC and CNN," according to the service.