The World Wide Web Turns 25: We’ve Got 25 Fast Facts You Need to Know

20. The First Book Sold on Amazon Was Pretty Nerdy

According to Mashable, the very first book ever sold by Amazon was pretty highbrow. Sold in July of 1995, the book was “Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.”

In case you were wondering, the first thing ever sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer. It was bought for $14.83.

21. The Amount of Time You Spend Online Might Surprise You

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According to a 2013 article on the Huffington Post, the average American spend about 4.5 hours watching TV, but over 5 hours online, either on the computer or on a mobile device.

A recent ComScore study finds that Canadians spend even more time online than Americans. Canadians spend 45 hours per month online, which is almost double the global average.

Wondering how your online time breaks down? Mashable reports that about 18% of your online time is spent on social media. The average Facebook user, for example, spends nearly 7 hours per month on the site. The average person watches 10 hours of Netflix per month.

22. The Internet Weighs as Much as a Strawberry, But It’s Still Huge

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According to an article on the Huffington Post, “Professor John Kubiatowicz, from the University of California, Berkeley, worked out that weight of all the electrons in motion that make up the internet at any one moment is equivalent to 50 grams. Or, the weight of a strawberry.”

The entire Internet’s worth of data is estimated to be somewhere around 1.2 Zettabytes (1.3 trillion gigabytes). Writer Andy Greenhaw visualizes this amount of data by comparing it to “339 miles of fully-loaded iPads stacked to the sky.”

According to Focus Magazine, a lot of that data is housed by just a few companies. They write:

“Consider the sum total of data held by all the big online storage and service companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. Estimates are that the big four store at least 1,200 petabytes between them. That is 1.2 million terabytes (one terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes). And that figure excludes other big providers like Dropbox, Barracuda and SugarSync, to say nothing of massive servers in industry and academia.”

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23. The Internet Is a Big Part of the Economy

The Bloomberg video above addresses the question, “What is life like with Google’s super-fast Internet?”

Some of the world’s biggest tech companies pull down some surprising sales figures. According to Business Insider, Amazon’s annual revenue is larger than half of the GDPs in the world.

Moreover, Google’s ad revenues alone are larger than that of the entire publishing industry in the United States. Another fun fact: Kickstarter has raised more money for art-related businesses in the United States than the National Endowment for the Arts.

24. The Internet of Things Is Big Business

The Internet of Things is poised to do big business in the coming years. ZDNet reports that, by 2020, the Internet of Things will be a $8.9 trillion industry. By that date, 212 billion devices with an internet connection will be in service.

25. The Future of the Web Is Pretty Cool, a website that collects predictions about technology in the future, has some intriguing thoughts about the role of the web in the coming decades. By the 2030s, the site predicts, we will be in the midst of “Web 4.0” – the next generation of the Internet.

The site writes:

“Semantic analysing programs, having evolved into stronger AI, now perform a huge range of automated tasks for business, government and consumers…

In addition, practically every physical document in existence has now been digitally encoded, backed up and archived online. This includes full copies of all books, journals, manuscripts and other literature ever published – forming a complete repository of human knowledge going back thousands of years. These documents can be retrieved and analysed using real-time speech commands, translated from any of the world’s 6,000 languages and accessed via 3D holographic imaging.”

FutureTimeline also predicts that terabit Internet connections will be widespread and fairly commonplace.