The Internet only become more and more important to business owners in the last 5 years. Although 5 years doesn’t seem like a long time. It’s surprising to see just how far technology has come in that short space of time.

The internet has made communication easier. Dissemination of information and other data has became almost instantaneous. People from all around the globe can now be connected. It has become a solid platform where people can transact and conduct business twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. There’s no restrictions on opening and closing hours and it has opened up the doors to essentially millions of people who can visit your business page.

In this article, I am going to show you a glimpse of the current trend of internet usage specifically for Australia.


Internet Usage Stats and Telecommunications Market Report

Internet Usage Statistics:

17,033,826 Internet users as of Aug/2009, 80.1% of the population, according to Nielsen.

Facebook Users in Australia:
9,520,960 as of August 31, 2010, according to Facebook.

Internet Broadband Subscribers:
4,700,200 Broadband subscribers (connections) as of Sept./07, 22.8% of the population, according to OECD.


Internet Growth and Population Statistics:

YEAR Users Population % Pop. G.N.I. p.c. Usage Source
2000 6,600,000 19,521,900 33.8 % $19,992 (’00) ITU
2007 14,729,191 20,434,176 70.2 % $21,650 (’06) Nielsen
2009 16,926,015 21,262,641 79.6 % $32,220 (’06) Nielsen
2010 17,033,826 21,262,641 80.1 % $32,220 (’06) Nielsen

G.N.I.p.c. = Per Capita Gross National Income in US dollars, historic series.

Australia Internet Demographic Information:


20,507,264 (2005 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 19.8% (male 2,116,875/female 1,943,563)

15-64 years: 67.2% (male 7,085,692/female 6,695,189)

65 years and over: 12.9% (male 1,193,435/female 1,452,002) (2005 est.)


Median age:

Total: 36.56 years (2005 est.)
Female: 37.4 years
male: 35.74 years

According to this data, Australian internet users are mostly in the 15 to 64 years old age bracket. This only means that most of them already have the capacity to purchase.

People in Australia alone spend 11 billion dollars in online purchases. The question now is: “Do you want your business to get a portion of those 11 billion dollars that our fellow Australians are paying for online products and services?”

The statistics I have gathered clearly shows that Australians are not shy when it comes to purchasing both goods and services online. Australia is now the third highest country in the world when it comes to utilizing e-commerce.

The internet isn’t a story of how beneficial it is for home usage anymore. The internet now presents an opportunity for your business to step up and reach out to more potential clients. Internet marketing is not easy as it seems but through the proper marketing techniques, and strategy – you’ll reap the harvest of your investment.

The key to internet marketing is to go where the people go. Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, Twitter, Yahoo groups are only some of the social media sites that we can use to reach out to the potential clients and eventually drive traffic to our site.


Australia’s Fastest Growing Social Media Activities
Activity 2009 2008 YOY Change
Read messages on Twitter 23% 7% 16%
Interacted with a brand via social network 38% 23% 15%
Read a wiki 72% 61% 11%
Posted on Twitter 13% 4% 9%
Browsed/followed brands on Twitter 14% 5% 9%
Interacted with people on a social network 63% 55% 8%
Watched online video for product/service 63% 57% 6%
Updated a social networking profile 57% 51% 6%
Looked at a social networking profile 73% 67% 6%
Posted pictures online 68% 63% 5%
Source: The Nielsen Company


The opportunity to take your business online and reach thousands more customers is already in your hands.  It’s either stay in the traditional OFF-line market where people sell and advertise through newspapers with less and less readers each week, or we reach out to the entire country through a website, or social media platform which is open to thousands or even millions of visitors. It’s time to think outside of the box.

One of the best things about Google Chrome extensions is that they are so easy to develop. All you need to include in your build is an easy to configure manifest file that details how the extension should operate. Then you simply use the chrome browser to pack your extension into a .xpi file and you’re good to go.

You can either serve the extension from your own server or you can distribute it through the Chrome marketplace.

Google has not yet implemented a solution to sell extensions. The only reference to being able to sell extensions is through a thread found on the Chrome help forum.

One person “Blair” who seems to be a Google employee, has commented on that thread saying that “Google is very interested in enabling web developers to earn income from developing extensions, but they’re still investigating the best way to make this happen”. The last post from Blair was the 8th of May, 2010, so it doesn’t seem to be a top priority for Google to make this happen at the moment.

At present, only free extensions are included in the Chrome marketplace, but is there still opportunity to create an income from creating a free chrome extension?

You will have no doubt caught on to the fact that the “free” online business model can be quite profitable. Just take a look at sites like facebook or even google. If you can get the eyeballs, you can get a lot of advertising deals and the online world opens up to you.

So, let’s look at some of the most popular extensions in the marketplace and their stats. AdBlock, which is currently the most popular extension shows stats of 1,799,503 current users and 143,952 new weekly installs. These are pretty phenomenal numbers but what’s interesting is the developer says in his product description that he is relying on paypal donations to generate an income from this app. This suggest either that Google is not allowing monetization, or that users are going for apps without monetization ads, or simply that the developer has no idea how to monetize his extension.

What’s encouraging is the developer is obviously just a single person and not a huge company, which suggests there is room for the little guy in this marketplace and he must obviously be getting a decent amount in paypal donations as he says he has quit his full time job just to focus on it.

The question is, how much traction can a new app get on the marketplace?

It would seem there is some delay in google’s stats because I am finding quite a few apps with reviews and comments but no indication of number of users or download stats. I’ve found over 20 new extensions released just today in the “Most Recent” category and some of them have up to 15 ratings which indicates that there is some good activity possible for newly released extensions and quite a few new extensions being created everyday for Chrome.

I’m going to be looking further into Google Chrome extensions in the next few blog posts, so keep your eyes peeled for updates as I explore if it’s possible to make a decent income from Google Chrome extensions.

If you want to chime in about anything I have discussed or just to express your interest, please feel free to leave a comment below.