It’s the tale of internet domination, told through an old timey map

age of internet empires map proves what we already know google and facebook are poised for world domination

While it’s true that Web-related statistics are a thing to behold, digits aren’t nearly as impressive as seeing them represented in a visual masterpiece … which is exactly what Oxford Internet Institute researchers Stefano De Sabbata and Dr. Mark Graham did with a map they created illustrating the most visited websites in the world.

Entitled “Age of Internet Empires,” the project makes use of data sourced from Alexa. Two types of statistics were prominently used for the illustration: A site’s average number of unique users per day and the average number of views it receives per country. A website’s “territory” where it’s most visited by local users can be seen through the map’s thematic design. 

According to the map (which the creators say was named after the popular game), this is what you need to know about every notable website’s claim for power.

1. Call me Captain Obvious, but let’s just go ahead and say it – Google is King of the Internet. Just look at the map. 

2. Facebook may not have Google’s cosmic reach over the interwebs yet, but as of now it is, without a doubt, the King of Social Media. At least 50 countries consider the social network to be the number one staple in their everyday dose of the digital world, most of them located in the Middle East, North African, and Spanish-speaking American regions. However, the company’s rule over these territories isn’t completely free from Google’s influence; out of the 50 countries that have put Facebook in the top spot, 36 listed Google and 14 placed YouTube (which is Google-owned) in second place. Don’t get too cocky, Facebook.

3. Not a lot is known about countries within the Sub-Saharan African regions, but areas that have Internet connectivity mostly turn to – you guessed it – Google and Facebook for their online routine. Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, and South Africa are Google loyalists while Ghana, Senegal, and Sudan are more Facebook-inclined.

4. While Facebook has successfully infiltrated the Eastern hemisphere through its supremacy over the Philippines, other countries in the Asian region aren’t as swayed by Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild; they’re also unimpressed by Google’s household-name status.

Among the many available search engines on the Internet, there is one contender that Google needs to keep an eye on if it wants to retain its dominance. Baidu is the most used search engine in China (also where Facebook isn’t welcome), which incidentally is the country that has the world’s largest Internet population comprised of more than half a billion users. Baidu is also the most viewed website in South Korea, besting Naver, the country’s local search engine.

Not to be forgotten as the search engine of yesteryear, Yahoo stakes its claim over Taiwan and Japan, the latter easily known to be one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.

5. While Google and Facebook’s unquestionable popularity dominates most of the map, certain countries prefer their own versions of the two sites. Belarus does most of its social networking through VK, and Russia’s go-to search engine is Yandex. Instead of subscribing to the notion that Gmail is the only email service you will ever need, Kazakhstanis pick Mail.ru as their communication platform of choice. In Palestinian territories, visiting newspaper site Al-Watan Voice is preferable over Googling current news reports.

6. The data visualized by the Age of Internet Empires map has also been reproduced using a clearer hexagonal cartogram of the Internet Population 2011.

internet population map

In this view, the sites’ ranking according to popularity shifts a little bit. Google still pretty much overshadows everything else as it accounts for more than one billion people who use the site regularly. That’s half of the entire Internet populace.

And as previously noted, China is responsible for over half a billion Internet users alone, and the fact that they all turn to Baidu for their online searching needs puts the site in second place, overtaking Facebook – despite its 1.15 billion monthly active users, only around 280 million call it their most visited site.

What does all this say about the future of the Web? “We are likely still in the very beginning of the Age of Internet Empires,” wrote De Sabbata and Graham on the map’s page in the Information Geographies website. “But, it may well be that the territories carved out now will have important implications for which companies end up controlling how we communicate and access information for many years to come.”

Image credit: Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbata, Information Geographies

Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.