Cloudflare Publishes Top Internet Trends for 2023

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New data unveils top Generative AI sites, rankings of the most popular social media platforms, and most targeted industries by threat actors

Cloudflare, Inc. (NYSE: NET), the leading connectivity cloud company, today published its fourth annual Year in Review, exploring global Internet insights and security trends, accompanied by a deeper dive on the most popular Internet services in 2023.

The Internet is one of, if not, the most ubiquitous aspect of modern life. Cloudflare’s Year in Review revealed that in 2023 alone, there was a 25% increase in global traffic, with no signs of slowing. This growth underscores the dependency on Internet services to facilitate and underpin vital systems and tasks such as supporting global digital economies, enabling the operations of healthcare networks, maintaining business continuity for enterprises, and ultimately connecting people with their communities. 

Some of the biggest highlights of 2023 include:

  • Most Popular Internet Service: Google came in first for the second year in a row, followed by Facebook (#2), Apple (#3), and TikTok (#4).
  • Most Popular Social Media Platform: Facebook came in first, beating out 2022 leader TikTok (#2), followed up by Instagram (#3) and Twitter/X (#4).
  • Most Popular Generative AI Service: OpenAI came in first for this emerging category, followed by Character AI (#2), Quillbot (#3), and Hugging Face (#4). 
  • Most Targeted Industry: Threat actors most commonly launched attacks on Financial organizations, globally.
  • Most Common Cyberthreats: Deceptive links and extortion attempts found in malicious email messages were the top two most leveraged attack types.
  • Internet Outages Observed: There were more than 180 Internet outages around the world in 2023 – compared to over 150 in 2022 – with many due to government-directed regional and national shutdowns of Internet connectivity. 

“We all depend on the Internet, and Cloudflare’s global network – one of the largest in the world – has evolved into a pillar of the critical infrastructure the digital world relies on,” said Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder at Cloudflare. “Our unique role on the Internet allows us to see the ebbs and flows of online popularity and emerging technology trends in real-time – such as the boom in AI and accelerated global use of Starlink. It is our responsibility to be transparent and share the data and perspectives from reports like our Year in Review to help keep the online world more informed, resilient, and secure.”

This data comes from Cloudflare Radar, a free tool that lets anyone view global trends and insights across the Internet. Radar is powered by data from Cloudflare’s global network (one of the world’s largest, spanning 300+ cities in 100+ countries), and aggregated and anonymized data from Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 public DNS Resolver, widely used as a fast and private way to browse the Internet.

To learn more about Cloudflare’s Year in Review, please check out the resources below:

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