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Worldwide internet-user total passes 1bn

In December, global internet usage reached over one billion unique visitors, while the Asia-Pacific region accounted for the biggest chunk of people on the internet during the month
Written by Dawn Kawamoto, Contributor

Global internet usage reached over one billion unique visitors in December, with 41.3 percent coming from the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report released on Friday by ComScore.

The web-research firm's study looked at internet users over the age of 15 who accessed the net from their home or work computers in the month of December.

Europe grabbed the next-largest slice, with 28 percent of the global internet audience, followed by the US, with an 18.4 percent slice.

But Latin America is the one to watch, even though it holds a much smaller piece — 7.4 percent — of the global internet audience, according to Jamie Gavin, a ComScore senior analyst.

"The US is slowing down in its growth and momentum, but Latin America, with social networking and the mobile internet, is expected to gain momentum over the next few years," Gavin said.

He noted that while population plays a role in pushing certain regions to register a larger internet audience, an equally important factor is the ability of the internet to easily cross borders and take root.

The study compared countries as well as global regions. China accounted for the most internet users worldwide, with a 17.8 percent share of unique visitors, according to the report. The US ranked second with 16.2 percent, and Japan came a distant third with six percent.

Across specific internet properties, Google reached a sizable share of the global internet market, accounting for 77 percent of the worldwide audience, or nearly 776 million users.

Microsoft websites were accessed by 64.2 percent of users, and Yahoo sites 55.8 percent, according to ComScore. AOL, meanwhile, reached 27.1 percent of the worldwide internet audience.

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