Web Users

Who Uses the Web?

As of late 1995, less than 5.8 percent of the American population used the World Wide Web (11.5 million people) Contrastingly, 89 percent of the population actively watched T.V.. This made advertisement on the web an ineffective and unprofitable media. However, due to increasing "ease of use" technology and more affordable online terminals, internet use is growing at a rate unparalleled to that of any other media in history. It is impossible to forecast web growth accurately, but some of the most qualified estimates predict that there will be 100 to 150 million users by the year 2000.

These figures are prompting many businesses to enter the world of cyberspace. They are eager to advertise themselves to the yearning masses knocking at the door. However, who are those people who are currently using the internet?

Today’s users for the most part are young, affluent, and well educated. This is a much sought after, well segmented demographic. However, the low percentage of female users is troubling to many advertisers considering that in most American households, females are responsible for the majority of buying decisions. The lack of female participation has been attributed in some part to lack of privacy on the internet as well as the vast amount of pornography. Many females feel alienated by the internet.

Despite these problems, the number of female users is expected to grow as more internet sites cater specifically to their interests. In addition, as the internet becomes more and more a part of daily society, security issues are less likely to be of concern.