Chitika: Chrome OS web usage share doubles, but is still minuscule overall

Toshiba Chromebook

If Google Chromebooks are top sellers on Amazon and have growing sales in the education market, where are all the users?

That’s the question I walked away with after reading Chitika’s latest research report. On Thursday, the company shared data gathered from its ad network showing that only 0.2 percent of all North American web traffic was from Chrome devices. That’s a doubling from five months ago, but is still a tiny figure overall.

By comparison, Chitika says people using Linux to hit websites on its ad network accounted for 1.9 percent of all usage.

Chrome_OS_Usage_Sept-13_to_Jan-14

I’ll disclose that I’m a happy Chromebook user; I have been for nearly two years. So I may have some bias, but I think the numbers are skewed low in Chitika’s dataset. I checked our own traffic data and the percentage of visits from Chrome OS devices, per Google Analytics, is double that from Chitika’s data.

In 2013, 0.33 percent of Gigaom’s traffic came from Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, for example. So far in 2014, the figure is higher: 0.41 percent. Are these massive figures? Of course not. By and large more web traffic comes from Windows computers, Macs and even iOS devices.

I’m not suggesting that Chrome OS has disrupted any markets yet. I do see the potential for that to happen but it’s a long way off, if it’s going to happen at all, because it’s a paradigm shift in computer. For now, it’s entirely possible that Chrome OS devices simply aren’t selling well or they’re still very much a secondary browsing device. As more offline Chrome apps become available, let’s see what happens.

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