Back in 1980, well within the memory of many who will read these words, the entire human population was just under 4.5 billion. Of these, relatively few spoke English – and fully 55% lived on less than $2 per day.
In the intervening years, these numbers have undergone a radical shift: Today’s global population is nearly 7.8 billion, of whom a full 4.5 billion now regularly use the internet. English is easily the most common language in the online world, dominating webpages and social media alike. 90% of humanity now lives on more than $2 a day, and most of us have significant amounts of disposable income.Our present age of growth and prosperity has no parallel in human history. Perhaps not coincidentally, it also comes at a time of equally impressive technological achievement. In the second half of the 20th century, our global civilization shifted gears and entered the fast lane of progress – a continuing acceleration that has major implications for our lifestyles, and for the business world.
This period of abundance lays out an entirely different playing field, opening up extraordinary new markets to industry leaders and their upstart competitors alike. Here we begin an extended series of reports on the current and near-future trends that are reshaping our shared online space.
Our research is based heavily on the most current and comprehensive library of digital data available. In February 2020, Hootsuite, together with We Are Social, published their latest findings on people’s digital habits in nearly every country of the world.
Their presentations, spread out across 247 pages of global analysis, and a separate 92-page report of Thailand-specific content, are as richly informative as they are lengthy. This treasure trove of facts and statistics, together with our own analysis, provides a sound framework for marketing strategy in the months and years ahead.
Our team set out to simplify the numbers, turning them into a clear and easy-to-read narrative that offers actionable insights in several domains. We’ll be rolling out the results in a major set of articles to be published over the coming weeks.
We kick off the series in earnest by presenting the main findings of the report, which follow the world’s evolving relationship with digital technology. We then apply this theme to specific areas of interest, including an in-depth examination of Thailand’s own digital habits. Later in our series, we will isolate key lessons in the realms of social media, brand identity, and e-commerce – while also exploring how the core issue of trust influences all of our online activity.
In the telling of this story, we will break free from convention. Facts and figures make for dry reading, and a simple series of essays would do little to add excitement. Fortunately we live in an age of variety – with plenty of memes, videos, and interactive content to make the digital experience come alive. It seems fitting that, as we take the pulse of the present moment, we do so in a way that reflects the very same inventiveness that led us all to spend so much time online in the first place.
Crunching the Numbers
The full reports from Hootsuite and We Are Social are embedded here. They are dense but accessible, and presented with admirable clarity:
The above reports have just one shortcoming. They provide relatively little analysis – leaving the reader to separate the essential details from the background noise. Fortunately, Lexicon is on the case. Throughout this series, we’ll curate the content, interpret the data, and help you stay current on all the big trends throughout Thailand and beyond.