When it comes to web browsers, what’s your favorite?
Watching the shift in web browser popularity is interesting to developers, but it’s also fascinating to anyone interested in seeing a snapshot of internet habits at any given moment in time.
Back in May of 2002, there were largely just three contenders. According to w3school.com’s own website history data (i.e., the data of the largest web developer website on the internet), Internet Explorer (IE) had 86.7% of their visitors, followed by Netscape at 7.3% and AOL at 2.8%. Feeling nostalgic? I know, we are too. We’ve certainly come a long way since then.
Eight years later, in May of 2010, web browsers were already in a dramatically new place. Looking at the same source of data, Firefox was in the lead with 46.9% of the market share, followed by IE at 32.2%, Chrome at 14.5%, Safari at 3.5%, and Opera at 2.2%.
And here we are in 2018. The latest numbers from w3schools.com show that Chrome is by far the most popular browser, being used by 77.9% of visitors to their website. Firefox comes next at 11.8%, followed by Edge/IE at 4.1%, Safari at 3.3%, and Opera at 1.5%.
These numbers vary slightly from different sources, but the same general trends are present. For example, Statistica’s latest numbers report, which breaks down browsers a bit more granularly, shows global market share of web browsers in 2018 to be led by Chrome for Android at 27.62%, followed by Chrome 63.0 at 13.76%, Chrome 64.0 at 11.55%, Safari iPhone at 9.58%, Firefox 58.0 at 3.41%, IE at 2.63%, Safari iPad at 2.4%, UC Browser 12.0 at 2.37%, Android 0 at 1.73%, Safari 11.0 at 1.53%, Samsung Internet 6.2 at 1.39%, and Edge 16 at 1.38%. Thus, Chrome seems to be a favorite of 2018, but who knows what the future will bring?
If you’re developing websites and you want to make sure what you’re launching out into the world renders properly everywhere audiences will see it, these are important numbers to know. If you’re unhappy with the browser you’ve used for years, and you’re looking for a switch, this data set might give you some new ideas.
From social media trends to voice search, security, and AI, so much evolves on the internet year to year, and even month to month. At the core of so much, though, is the browser that allows you to experience it all. What you use today may be different from what you used a year ago or what you might use in the future.