Metrics firm comScore claims the global Internet audience, age 15 and older from home and work computers, has surpassed 1 billion visitors in December 2008.
Asia Pacific accounts for the highest share of global Internet users at 41.3 percent, followed by Europe at 28 percent, North America at 18.4 percent, Latin America at 7.4 percent and Middle East & Africa at 4.8 percent.
"Surpassing one billion global users is a significant landmark in the history of the Internet," said Magid Abraham, President and Chief Executive Officer, comScore, Inc. "It is a monument to the increasingly unified global community in which we live and reminds us that the world truly is becoming more flat. The second billion will be online before we know it, and the third billion will arrive even faster than that, until we have a truly global network of interconnected people and ideas that transcend borders and cultural boundaries."
The largest online nation is China (17.2%), followed by the US (16.2%), Japan (6%), Germany (3.7%), and the UK (3.6%).
comScore also provides some information about the most popular websites in the world: The most popular property in the world in December was Google Sites, with 777.9 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Sites (647.9 million visitors), Yahoo! Sites (562.6 million visitors). Facebook.com, which has grown a dramatic 127-percent in the past year to 222 million visitors, now ranks as the top social networking site worldwide and the seventh most popular property in the world.