Every day billions and billions of users go online for all sorts of reasons. Whether it’s to purchase items or services online, find answers to a specific question, look for directions, do research for schoolwork, listen to music or play online games it has never been easier to find what we are looking for. In 2016 it was reported that most Internet users are searching for information about goods and services, but there is still a huge percentage of the population who use the Internet to find different forms of pastime activities on a daily basis. After the introduction of smartphones our access to online entertainment has become even more accessible and we have every reason to believe that the need for entertainment will keep increasing in the future.

Social Media

Social media is one of the most popular forms of online entertainment and one of the top reasons for billions of users to go online every day. In 2017 global social media usage reached an average of 135 minutes per person each day. Together with blogging online social networks made its way into our lives in the beginning of the 2000s and since then it has only increased in popularity. Today nearly 2.50 billion users are active on one or more social media platforms and by 2021 it is estimated that these numbers will reach 3.02 billions. The most popular social media platform worldwide is Facebook with over 2000 million users. Facebook was launched as early has 2004 and was made available worldwide in 2006. By late 2007 and early 2008 “everyone” was getting a Facebook account.  YouTube is the second most popular social network site with around 1500 million users. YouTube was launched in 2005 and introduced a whole new way of sharing personal videos and interacting with other users. Instagram has reported 800 million users and Twitter has around 330 million users. Facebook messenger and WhatsApp are the two most popular messaging apps worldwide. There are countless of other social media platforms around the world used for both entertainment and professional purposes.

Online Video Games

Ever since video games gained mainstream popularity in the 1970s and 1980s it has been an enjoyable pastime activity for children and adults around the world. As the Internet evolved the way people enjoy video games has reached new levels and standards. Today one can play multiplayer games online and interact with other users. One of the most played online video games is League of Legends. In 2013 they reported having about 12 million daily players and a monthly average of 32 million unique players. Hearthstone (originally known as Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft) is an online collectible card game that users all over the world can enjoy for free. In 2017 this game had 50 million players in one month.

World of Warcraft is another popular online video game. It was released in 2005 and in 2015 the game had 5.5 million subscriptions.

Online Casinos

Online gambling is more popular than ever and the online casino industry has had a massive growth since it started in the mid nineties. In the beginning the industry mostly consisted of a few online poker rooms and video poker slot machines. Since then online gambling has exploded in popularity and there are now countless of online casinos available for players from all corners of the world. Today you can play online versions of anything from classic table games, poker and slot machines and you can place bets on numerous of sports with just a few clicks. Especially in the Nordic countries online casino has increased in popularity over the last ten years. In Finland JohnSlots.com is a popular site for free play and in Norway NorskNettcasino is the go-to-site to find the latest information about online casinos.

Music Streaming

The way we experience music has completely changed with the developments in technology and the Internet. Some of us can vaguely still remember the feeling of having to wait for your favorite song to come on the radio to be able to enjoy it. Or the frustration when you tried to tape music and the radio hosts ruined your recording by talking over the song. Today the memory of downloading music and burning CDs even seems deprecated, but there was a time where most people couldn’t picture it ever being any easier to get hold of your favorite music and listen to it anytime you wanted. Not to mention when the first MP3 players became affordable and available to the public and you all of a sudden had the freedom of carrying your favorite music around in your pocket at all times. Today there is an even easier way to bring your music with you as you have anything and everything you need on your smartphone. Numerous of different streaming sites and apps gives you immediate access to your favorite music at all times. The most popular site for on demand music streaming is YouTube. Although it wasn’t originally created for music YouTube is today responsible for 46% of the music streaming time worldwide. Spotify and Apple Music are other popular streaming sites and are both increasing in popularity. Most music streaming apps will also let you download and save your playlists, meaning that you can enjoy your music even when you are not online.

Video Streaming

The same way music streaming has become more and more popular Video streaming has had a similar type of development. There is a huge variety of different video streaming apps available these days, which allows you to watch your favorite TV shows and movies whenever you want. Netflix, started as a service allowing users to buy and rent DVDs. In 2007 they included streaming services to their product catalog and in late 2015/early 2016 they operated in almost 200 different countries around the world. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video are among the most popular paid streaming services for watching TV shows and movies and YouTube is one of the most popular services for other types of videos.

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Blast is Boston's Online Magazine

One Response

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