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RealTime IT News

Web Audience Climbs 10% in Last Year

Think a lot of people are using the Internet? You're right.

Some 747 million people aged 15 or older used the Internet worldwide in January 2007, a 10 percent increase from the same month a year ago, according to new research from comScore Networks.

But among the top 15 countries (ranked by penetration), Internet audiences in developing countries India, the Russian Federation and China increased the most in 2006, growing 33, 21 and 20 percent, respectively.

ComScore said China now represents the second largest Internet population in the world, with 86.8 million users using the Internet in January 2007. In the U.S., 153.4 million users age 15 or older used in the Internet during the same month, up 2 percent from January 2006.

"Internet users outside the U.S. now account for 80 percent of the world's online population, with rapidly developing countries experiencing double-digit growth rates year-over-year," said Bob Ivins, comScore Europe managing director in a statement.

As a measure of engagement, comScore also analyzed the top 10 countries ranked by average hours online per visitor for January 2007.

Canada led the list, with the average user spending 39.6 hours online during the month. Users in the U.S. spent an average of 31.6 hours online during January.

And despite their increased Internet usage, Chinese, Indian and Russian users didn't figure in that metric's top ten, a fact which comScore attributes to shallower broadband penetration.

ComScore also reported the top worldwide Web properties for January, ranked by unique visitors.

Microsoft sites topped the list with 510.3 million worldwide visitors, followed by Google sites with 502.5 million and Yahoo! sites with 467.8 million.