New statistics have revealed that over one billion global consumers now use the internet.

According to comScore, the one billion mark was reached in December last year, with the Asia Pacific region accounting for the largest proportion of internet users.

It was followed by the regions of Europe, North America, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, while China was the biggest online country overall in December.

China boasted almost 180 million web users, compared with 163.3 million in the US, 59.9 million in Japan, 36.9 million in Germany and 36.6 million in the UK.

The most visited websites by all global web users consisted of those run by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! – indicating the potentially large internet marketing audience available for advertisers to tap into via search marketing.

Magid Abraham, president and chief executive of comScore, stated: "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."

There are now nearly 185 million sites on the web, according to Netcraft.

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