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10 surprising facts from Webcertain search and social report 2021

Webcertain search and social report 2021 has just been published!

It provides the very latest internet penetration, search engine, social media, e-commerce and digital marketing stats and facts from 49 countries worldwide.

There are plenty of fascinating insights in there for international digital marketers to absorb, but this blog post will look at ten facts that might surprise you…

1. The countries with the fastest broadband speeds

You might not think that Singapore and Romania have a lot in common – but they share one characteristic that may surprise you: their super-fast broadband speeds! As of February 2021, Singapore has the fastest broadband connection speeds in the world at a whopping 238.59 MB per second. Meanwhile, Romania comes in fourth place worldwide and first place in Europe, with a lightning fast 205.89 MB per second. Impressive!

2. The countries that love and hate to use ad blocking tools

Out of the 49 countries covered in the report, India was the country with the highest proportion of ad blockers, with 51% of internet users using ad blocking tools. This means that when targeting India, you need to give your organic SEO and content marketing efforts the attention they deserve, as your ads may not reach a large chunk of your audience. On the other end of the spectrum, Morocco had the lowest proportion of ad blockers in the report, with only 17% of internet users using ad blocking tools.

3. The country that spends the most amount of time online

The Philippines! The average Filipino internet user spends a staggering 10 hours and 56 minutes online every day. That is a massive portion of time, so you really need to include digital in your overall marketing efforts when targeting this vibrant archipelago.

4. The countries where Instagram is the top social network

In the vast majority of countries in the report, Facebook is the number one social network. This makes any country that breaks that rule noteworthy, and there are two countries where Instagram takes the social media crown: Turkey and Saudi Arabia! When targeting these countries, you therefore need to make sure your Instagram game is on point, making sure to tailor your images and messaging to be culturally appropriate and linguistically sound.

5. The curious case of the UAE’s impossible internet penetration rate

Strangely, the report found that there are more internet users in the UAE than residents, suggesting that the internet penetration rate is over 100%. After a bit of digging, I found a possible explanation for this statistical anomaly: the presence of a large number of unauthorised migrants who do not appear in the official population figures but are nevertheless counted as internet users.

6. It’s quackers! DuckDuckGo is rising in popularity

If you have never heard of DuckDuckGo, it is a privacy-focused search engine that promises not to track its users online. It is becoming more and more popular, and is now actually the third most popular search engine in Australia, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

7. Ecosia is planting its roots in Europe

Ecosia is another unusual search engine that made it into the report. Ecosia is an environmentally-friendly search engine that uses its ad revenue to plant trees. It is the third most popular search engine in Belgium and Germany.

8. The rapid rise of Yandex in Turkey

If you have heard of Yandex, you probably know it as one of the leading search engines in Russia. However, Russia is not the only country where it is present, and it is rapidly increasing its search engine market share in Turkey. Yandex now accounts for 18.2% of all searches done in Turkey, far greater than the 10.9% it accounted for just last year.

9. LINE reigns supreme in Japan

You may not have heard of it, but LINE is the most popular social platform in Japan. LINE started life as a messaging app similar to WhatsApp, but has since diversified its offerings to include a mobile wallet, entertainment, lifestyle and shopping features. If you want to target the Japanese market, you should definitely consider advertising on LINE!

10. Finland is the most digital country in the EU

Finland currently ranks first in the EU’s Digital Economy and Social Index (DESI), which measures EU countries’ connectivity, human capital, use of internet services, integration of digital technology, and digital public services. Finnish customers are used to being able to interact with businesses using digital solutions, and they expect brands to be online.

I hope this blog post has given you a useful introduction to the current global digital marketing landscape. For more in-depth information on 49 countries, check out the Webcertain search and social report 2021 now!

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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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