Emerging nations embrace internet, mobile technology


Description: In a remarkably short period of time, internet and mobile technology have become a part of everyday life for some in the emerging and developing world. Cell phones, in particular, are almost omnipresent in many nations. The internet has also made tremendous inroads, although most people in the 24 nations surveyed are still offline.

Meanwhile, smartphones are still relatively rare, although significant minorities own these devices in countries such as Lebanon, Chile, Jordan and China.

People around the world are using their cell phones for a variety of purposes, especially for texting and taking pictures, while smaller numbers also use their phones to get political, consumer and health information. Mobile technology is also changing economic life in parts of Africa, where many are using cell phones to make or receive payments.While the internet still has a limited reach in the emerging and developing world, once people do gain access to the internet, they quickly begin to integrate it into their lives. A significant number of people in these nations say they use the internet on a daily basis, including roughly half of those polled in Lebanon, Russia and Argentina. At least 20% use the internet daily in 15 of the 24 nations surveyed.

In 21 of 24 nations, a majority of internet users also participate in sites like Facebook and Twitter.

People are using social networking sites to stay in touch with family and friends and to share their views on an array of topics, including popular culture, religion and politics.

These are among the main findings of a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 24,263 people in 24 emerging and developing economies from March 2, 2013 to May 1, 2013. All interviews were conducted face-to-face.

Publication Details