Over at the Royal Pingdom blog, they've done some serious web scouring to give us a peek at the broader internet trends of 2012. It was a year where we reached 2.4 billion active internet users worldwide (up from just 360 million in 2000), of which 1.1 billion are located in Asia and 565 million in China alone.
It's not all broad impersonal statistics though. While we're sure techies will be keen to know that Internet Explorer's market share has dropped to an all-time low of 39%, or that Apache drives 63% of the world's internet servers, the most interesting stats are often about people and how we're using the internet.
For example, did you know that Brazilians are the most active users of Facebook worldwide? Or that the average smartphone owner consumes 500MB of data per month? Or that Google+ isn't quite the social ghost town it's often made out to be, with 135 million active users per month? (Facebook has 1 billion by comparison, while Twitter hit 200 million last year.)
And in case you doubted the massive influence that tablets and smartphones are now having on our lives, 2012 saw email use on mobiles overtake that of desktop mail clients. The most popular email client is now Mail on iOS, with 35.6% of market share, putting it well ahead of its nearest rivals Outlook (20.1%) and Hotmail (13.6%). And before all the iPhone fans start crowing, the statistics also show that Android devices accounted for 66% of all smartphone sales last year.
So if you're curious to take a closer look at where we've just come from - and perhaps catch a glimpse of where we're going - check out Royal Pingdom's Internet 2012 in numbers. At the very minimum, you should be able to dig up some good ammunition for your next tech-related argument.