In Australia, as in every country, there are certain websites that remain more popular than others. It might not surprise you that the sites most popular in Australia also top the lists for many other countries. Across the world, these websites are some of the most regularly visited by citizens as a whole.
The traffic received by popular sites is immense, and the impressive numbers seem to transcend demographics such as age, gender or economic status. It seems that everyone is visiting these sites, and each continues to soar above others in their monthly traffic totals.
Where does all that traffic come from? Users just like you and I. And according to the numbers, Australians are definitely heavy Internet users. Here are a few statistics:
The average Australian says they spend about 10 hours using internet connected devices per day.
Over the last year, Australians spent nearly 22 billion collective hours using the Internet.
Australians over 14 spend nearly 6 hours each week using social media.
88% of Australians are smartphone users, showing an increase not only from the previous year, but showing that mobile use continues to grow considerably. Not only is this the case, but Australians are also often accessing the Internet via multiple screens, with 50% of Australians having at least 3 screens.
So, it’s quite apparent that we’re online---and often---but where are we going when we use the internet? Are there certain sites that draw the vast majority of Australians over and over? And how do we differ from the rest of the world? Do we visit the same top sites as say the United States of America or China?
The latest numbers show that Australians are frequent visitors to many websites and these are the 10 that top the list, according to Alexa. We'll dive into each website, what makes it so popular, and what the popularity might mean for Australia and its people.
Both Google.com and Google.com.au are firmly near the top of the list. To be honest, Google is always going to be one of the winning sites if not the number one. Google continues to reliably provide the answers to our questions and queries. Receiving roughly 40,000 searches every second, it’s clear that Google is doing something right. Today, its algorithms are so advanced and accurate that searches are generally able to bring up the proper result---the solution or answer you’re looking for---right to page one.
Google is also the gateway to countless other online services, including email, file storage, and much more. Google has its hand in every part of the web, and in 2018 it’s almost impossible to imagine an Internet without Google.
It should come as no surprise that YouTube is one of the most popular websites in Australia because it is well known all over the world. Statistics show that Australian adults watch an average of 23 hours of YouTube per month. This is on par with averages in other countries, and it has a lot to do with our preferred way of consuming content in the modern world.
Video is IN. There’s no better way to reach your audience in today’s crowded online space than through video, and this applies to all types of businesses and content. Users watch videos to learn skills, follow favourite personalities, check out product reviews, and more. And they’re definitely spending a lot of time doing it. In America, the average user tends to watch video content 42 hours per week. There’s always more to watch, as well. YouTubers upload an approximate 400 hours of video every minute. Without a doubt, video growth does not show signs of stopping.
It’s not only video content that is attractive to Internet users, but in general, users are increasingly looking for what is sometimes called ‘snackable’ content. People are looking for shorter content that can be consumed quickly and with satisfaction. Facebook is the perfect conduit for this, with its memes and fun comments and plenty of video. That snackable content is everywhere on Facebook and it continues to permeate a seemingly endless new feed, delivering us quick bursts of entertainment, humour, and news.
And of course, Facebook is the leading social platform, particularly with an increasingly older demographic. Because of this, it attracts significant traffic and it’s also a site that receives a lot of users’ time and attention. The typical user spends around 41 minutes per day using Facebook, whether on desktop or on mobile.
Australian’s devotion to Facebook is in line with the rest of the world’s, and it demonstrates that we still place a high value on social content. After all, who doesn’t love keeping up with their friends and family?
It’s easy---and heaps of fun---to fall down a Wikipedia rabbit hole. This encyclopaedia of endless knowledge leads continuously from one page to the next. Wikipedia remains beloved by Australians, likely because humans are curious beings. Wikipedia, as a vast repository of knowledge, satisfies that curiosity, and it can do so for hours on end!
What makes Wikipedia so useful is that every page links to multiple related terms and information sources. This makes it simple to follow a train of thought and your curiosity as you explore and learn about whatever interests you.
Reddit is among the most frequently visited sites by Australians. Reddit is often referred to as “the front page of the Internet.” It’s a user-submitted site where site members (aka ‘Redditors’) share links, images, and posts, and these are then voted up or down by other members of the site. When posts receive many votes, they are given priority distribution on the network, sending them up the popularity chain.
As Reddit is one of the top 10 sites in Australia, it seems that we are keen on staying ‘in the know’ about what’s trending on the Internet. Our affinity for Reddit may also indicate that a large portion of our population is interested in crowdsourcing answers and information. It could be that Australians love the community vibe and enjoy getting various opinions from different respondents. That is a lot of what Reddit is all about.
eBay is a site where you can buy and sell just about anything. This web-based auction platform is a place where users try to outbid one another on hot items, many of which are valuable antiques or one-of-a-kind items. Australians are big fans of this site, and it sits squarely on the list of top 10 sites. Online retail sales are growing by leaps and bounds in the country. The continued popularity of eBay shows that Australians are embracing online shopping wholeheartedly, and it’s only forecast to continue growing in the future.
Twitter, the social media site where you can share your thoughts in just 280 characters, continues to be extremely well-liked by Australians. While it can be used to share photos, memes, and links, most of all, Twitter gives users a chance to share little snippets of their thoughts. These are often poignant or humorous, and sometimes even politically charged. Our time investment in Twitter indicates that we are getting a lot out of this constant feed of news and opinions and that the social aspect of Twitter still reels Australians in.
Email is undoubtedly a massive part of our online experience. The presence of Live.com on the list of most-visited sites by Australians confirms this.
Essentially, Live is Microsoft’s version of Gmail and associated Google products. With 27% of the email market share, it only lags behind Gmail in popularity.
Yahoo is similar to Live and to Google, as it has email products, a calendar, and other familiar offerings. However, only approximately 2% of Australians report using Yahoo as their primary webmail client. This means that we’re likely utilising Yahoo as an alternate search engine to Google, or we find it’s news-orientated front page to be compelling.
Australia’s heavy use of Yahoo is perhaps a bit surprising, but it may simply indicate that are comfortable using services that we have long known and loved.
Instagram, an app that’s all about photo sharing, is one of the most popular websites on the list and this indicates not just about Australians but about people all over the world that there's a certain joy we get from appreciating beautiful aesthetics. Influencers and photographers on Instagram are creating amazing images and a lot of these are not just landscape photos or portraits but they are enviable lifestyle photos. Just like with watching movies or television and escaping reality, Instagram serves as a way to help us do that as well. It sometimes gives us a bit of envy when we're peering into the lifestyles of others that seem glamorous and jet-setting and perfect. But in many ways, this is aspirational content that simply inspires us to live the lives we want to.
In the end, the websites we visit can tell us a great deal about the people of our country, but the numbers also barely begin to scratch the surface.
Did any of the sites on this list surprise you?