5 Fun Facts about the Internet in 1996

Slate had an interesting article last month about the Internet back in 1996. Here are five facts that jumped out at me.

In 1996:

  • Only 20 million American adults had access to the Internet, about as many as subscribe to satellite radio today. (Internet World Stats reports nearly 250 million Internet users in North America today.)
  • Americans with Internet access spent fewer than 30 minutes a month surfing the Web. (Today, we spend about 27 hours a month online.)
  • You accessed the Internet by dial-up modem, tied up your phone line, and paid by the hour. Plus, it took about 30 seconds to load each page.
  • There was not a whole lot to do online. There was no YouTube, Digg, Google, Twitter, Facebook, or Wikipedia. There was no instant messaging or online MP3’s. Amazon was just getting started and only sold books. You mostly checked news, weather and email.
  • Yahoo produced its search directory using actual human beings who reviewed new sites and cataloged them. Obviously, this model was unable to keep pace with the growth of the Web.

What do you remember about those early internet days? How do you think the Internet may change in the next decade?

HT: Christ and Pop Culture

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9 Comments

  1. BOBY says:

    boring get a life

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    BOBY – So I take it you didn’t like the post?

  3. Marissa says:

    I think this information was amazing because I had to do a report in my English class and it was perfect information. . .Thanks!!

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Marissa – I’m glad you found it helpful!

  5. Niagara says:

    I remember when my family first got the Internet, in 1998,
    the problem of tying up the phone lines while online. I’m glad that no longer happens.

  6. Jen.Robo says:

    slate sucks, i can honestly say no one ever heard of slate [google analytics] till 2005, they just weren’t on the radar back then.
    the net was alive in the 90’s, especially in 94/95 when win 95 began shipping beta. hacking, chat & sadly pedobears where everywhere. in fact shopping was popular too, i remember many sites offering online shopping.
    i remember the net being fun and alive back then, it was costly mind you, 2.99 per min for aol, i was connected via a company lan.

    hey fun post,
    god bless.

  7. Randy says:

    Funny in 1996 I was tracking computing devices using caller ID and then IP, recovering data, encrypting files, sending messages to the remote device. 17 years later, find my iPone is everyhwre… Got the patent though.. Anyway, I bet you did not even have an email in 1996, lesson learned, make sure your products are market relevant, not a decade ahead of there time. Fun stuff at the time though..

  8. I’m glad that no longer happens. THANK you

  9. i remember the net being fun and alive back then, it was costly mind you, 2.99 per min for aol, i was connected via a company lan.

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