How the Internet has Changed in the Last 10 Years [Infographic]

It’s time to appreciate how far we’ve come.

The Internet has grown at a spectacular rate from 2002 to 2012Here’s an interesting infographic that has been making the rounds across social media for the last two weeks. It visualizes the spectacular rise of the Internet in just 10 years. In 2002, the Internet boasted 569 million users, which translated to 9.1% of the world’s population. In 2012, that number has gone through the roof: There are now 2.27 billion users, or 33% of the world’s population.

Another formidable stat is the amount of time people spend online — in 2002, it was only 46 minutes a day (about the time it took to download four songs); in 2012, it’s four hours a day.

Also highlighted in the infographic are some companies that have paid a steep price for their unwillingness adapt to the changes:

  • Blockbuster refused numerous offers to buy Netflix and was reluctant to roll out subscription-based membership. The company filed for bankruptcy on 2010, and was bought at auction by satellite television provider Dish Network. Dish is closing a large number of unprofitable stores and has scrapped plans to make Blockbuster into a Netflix competitor.
  • Borders refused to create an online bookstore. It also declared bankruptcy and liquidated its stores in 2011.
  • Tower Records was slow to adapt to digital music. It declared bankruptcy twice, in 2004 and 2006. The brand currently exists as an international franchise and an online music store, a shell of its former self. I miss you, Tower Records!

 The growth of the Internet in the last 10 years: 2002-2012



  • Really good blog Pam! Thanks for the info.

  • Great story. I’d love to see you even go back 5 more years to 1997. A friend of mine loves the story where he was doing some innovation consulting back in the late 90s and he told one of the major record labels that they should explore selling on line. They literally threw him out of the room.

  • Beverly

    Great infographic!!

  • Hanamiti

    Of those 555 million websites, 80% is spam, junk and black-hat seo doorways.

  • This is a great infographic. It’s staggering to see how things have changed! I hope they keep changing, and only for the better!

  • NGPhotographs

    It scares me to think how much things have changed in the last 10 years. 10 years ago I was working for a cable company we were selling ‘broadband’ at 128k/s now I’m getting nearly 500 times that quick.

  • Fantastic! The gifs work really well.