Libya had only 10,000 Internet users back in 2000. Internet became more accessible in 2008 and by December 2017 the number skyrocketed to 3,800,000 (approx. 60 percent of the population). According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Internet is the third most accessible media in the country, mostly used to access social media (Altai Consultancy, 2013). Yet access rates vary with location. Daily Internet usage in Misrata, Zuwarah and Sabha stands at 25 percent of the local population, which is notably lower than the daily usage in major cities Tripoli and Benghazi (over 50 percent). The Internet is predominantly used by educated young males as indicated by the content dominating the Libyan digital media sphere. Most followed Facebook pages include ElKul, a BBC-Action-funded online media project, and also the youth-focused TV channel 218 which has the biggest number of followers on social media. But lately many of the older and less educated Libyans seem to be interested in staying connected and informed and are intrigued by the technology as it provides a faster way to connect and have access to news. The youths tend to be more distrusting with only 5 percent trusting the political information they read on the social network. Youths understand the technology better and tend to be wary of the strangers who are Facebook page admins or editors. Unless they know them personally they tend to not trust or distrust the information received. But this is clearly different with less educated youths or older users who are less savvy and just digest the news as facts. Some even say "I read it on Facebook" as a way to confirm news.
Notably, Alwasat is considered the most widely respected and followed independent news outlet in recent years. The outlet faced many challenges including being banned from publishing and distributing inside the country; its website was censored for nearly a year in 2015, and its radio station was knocked off the air. But it still is one of the most visited sites in Libya (according to Alexa.com top 50 most visited sites in Libya).
Libya Herald was established by a British journalist, Michel Cousnis, and it's the most popular and followed news source by expats as it publishes news in English only. It was based in Tripoli but the staff had to relocate to Malta and London. For fear of kidnapping or assassination.
Classified ads website Opensooq is very popular and people use it to advertise and look for used cars, real estate and even used phones. But the transactions always take place physically as there is no trusted supporting online procurement services in Libya.
The privately owned Libyan Address Journal started in December 2017 and is chaired by Mahmud Elforjani, a journalists who worked for Reuters and Alarabiya in his early days and later chaired the Libyan News Agency back in 2014. It is the only Libyan digital media based in the country and with an all-local staff. It publishes in both English and Arabic languages and is mainly a news platform with no political views or bias.