Posted by: bluesyemre | August 15, 2015

How Big is Email? Estimating the size of the world’s communications by Ian Baker


Email vs the Web

The web is pretty big, but since it’s public we all have a sense of its vastness. It’s also hard to define: there’s sites like, Wikipedia, or your favorite Taylor Swift forum, but what about your company’s intranet, your calendar app, or the configuration page for your fancy new bathroom scale? Also, with services like Gmail, the web includes most of the world’s email too. A good definition of the web might be, “the stuff you can find by searching it.” Researchers call this the indexed web. Google says the web contains 30 trillion unique URLs. The average web page contains 96 of those objects, and is 1.6 megabytes in size. That puts the size of the indexed web at around 512 petabytes. So, email is about 3x the size of the web.

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