There is a limit to how many people digital platforms can sign up

Despite there being almost 8 billion people on Earth, the number of people who can reasonably sign up for major tech platforms is much, much smaller.

Together with

There is a limit to how many people digital platforms can sign up

 

Future. Despite there being almost 8 billion people on Earth, the number of people who can reasonably sign up for major tech platforms is much, much smaller. That pushes back against tech’s narrative of endless growth, which has created blowback from Wall Street. The best way to reignite the industry’s upward climb may be through investing in global internet infrastructure.

Internet ceiling
Digital platforms don’t have an unlimited well of people to convert to users.

  • According to research from the World Bank and United Nations, 4 in 10 people around the world (roughly 3 billion people) do not have access to the internet at home or on their phones.
  • NYT reports that that number includes some of the most populous countries in the world, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
  • And even counties that have stepped up internet usage are far off from true adoption — 60% of Indians don’t use the internet.
    • That’s a problem for Netflix and Disney, which are counting on India for growth.

To show just how starkly that differs from connected countries, only 10% of Americans aren’t online.

“What’s your download speed, bro?”
Here’s another wrinkle: even for those who are connected, is their internet fast enough to actually use social media or video-streaming platforms? The Alliance for Affordable Internet found that even though two-thirds of Colombians were online in 2019, only a quarter “had ‘meaningful’ access, which included consistent online connections at relatively quick speeds.” So, that cuts the number of potential users down significantly.

And then there’s China, the most populous country on Earth and the country with the most internet users, which has no access whatsoever to platforms such as Facebook, Netflix, or Google. No wonder growth for many of these companies has stalled.

TOGETHER WITH UPWAY

E-bike glow-up 🚴‍♂️💨

Want a reconditioned e-bike? Who doesn’t? Take Upway’s quick three-question quiz and find your best bike match. And they’ll zip it to your door in two to five days. 📦

Time to e-ride