It’s time for our annual report on the use of social media by Canadians! We’re heading into 2022 with a record 31.8 million Canadians who use an average of 6 different social networks, spending one hour and fifty-three minutes there every day, on average.
Social media usage data from the past two years has been muddied by the pandemic, but after so long a lot of the new habits and adaptations will stick. Our lives revolve around the internet more and that will continue. In fact, research from CIRA indicates that 57 percent of Canadians won’t use the internet any less once the pandemic is over. Some said they’ll be online more than they were before the pandemic started.
Even without the pandemic, Canadian use of social media has always been high. Growth will slow and max out eventually, but experts predict over 96 percent of online Canadians (38.18 million) will be on social media by 2026. That seems likely, based on a recent report from the Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University. Researchers found 94 percent of online Canadian adults already use at least one social media platform.
Why Do People Use Social Media?
When we know why people visit social media networks, we can create content and target our campaigns more effectively. That’s critical to keeping our Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) down and increasing organic reach.
The most common reasons for using social media are:
- Keeping in touch with friends & family 47.6%
- Passing spare time 36.3%
- Reading the news 35.1%
- Finding content 31.6%
- Check out what others are talking about 29.5%
- Inspiration for things to do or purchase 27.7%
- Finding products to buy 26.3%
- Sharing opinions 24.5%
- Meeting new people 23.9%
- Watching live streaming 23.8%
- Favourite brand content 23.1%
- Networking & researching for work 22.9%
- Finding like-minded communities & interest groups 22.1%
- Watching/following sports 22.0%
- Following celebrities or influencers 21.7%
- Posting about their life 21.4%
- Fear of missing out (FOMO) 21.3%
- Supporting & following causes 17.4%
In Canada, 31.8% of us use social media to find information about brands and products, reports Hootsuite. Almost 20% (19.6%) of us follow influencers on social media. Just under 14% (13.7%) of Canadians use social media for networking & researching for work.
Contrary to popular belief, Canadians who have a traditional job are more likely to be on social media than those who are self-employed or not employed.
2022 Social Media Users in Canada
It can be difficult to find Canadian-specific data and it isn’t always reliable when we do find some. When the numbers really count, I gather information from several sources and base my decisions on consensus or averages. Since social media is a huge part of digital marketing success in Canada, we pull data from a number of sources to help guide our campaigns. That’s what we’re sharing with you here.
The Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University compared 2022 social media usage in Canada with a similar report from 2020.
Citation: Mai & Gruzd (2022). The State of Social Media in Canada 2022. Social Media Lab Toronto Metropolitan University. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.21002848
Statista reports the following social media platforms are used most regularly by Canadians:
Canadian Social Media Statistics Snapshot
Following is a summary of the most important Canadian social media statistics for quick reference.
Facebook / Meta
All sources agree that Facebook is the most popular social media network in Canada (and the world). However, their data and conclusions differ somewhat.
Seven out of 10 Canadians use the platform, according to CIRA. Sixty-two percent also use the Facebook Messenger app.
76.9 percent of Canadians use Facebook each month, says We Are Social. Canadians spend an average of 15.6 hours each month on Facebook.
The Social Media Lab found 80 percent of online Canadians have a Facebook account and 70 percent are on the network every day. Daily usage dropped 7 percent from 2020.
Facebook adoption is virtually universal in Canada, with little difference between household incomes or education levels.
While older Canadians are still less likely to use social media than our youth, the gap is closing. This is partly due to older Canadians becoming more comfortable online, but also because less young people are using the network.
86 percent of online Canadian women use Facebook, compared to Canadian men at 75 percent.
Facebook is most popular in the Maritimes:
- 79% of Nova Scotians use Facebook
- 76% of respondents from Prince Edward Island use it
- 76% of respondents from Newfoundland and Labrador are on the network
Statista’s numbers often don’t accurately reflect Canadian social media usage, in my experience, but their data is useful if you need general information or a data point for the lowest range. They report that Facebook grabbed 59.37 percent of all social media network visits in Canada in July 2021, and 78 percent use Facebook regularly.
Facebook is the third most popular site for Canadians to access news (at 39 percent), following news websites (52 percent) or Google (49 percent).
Facebook advertisers enjoy a potential reach of 63.2 percent in Canada.
Owned by Facebook/Meta Platforms since 2014
Forty-one percent of Canadians use WhatsApp, reports CIRA.
38.5 percent of Canadians use WhatsApp each month, according to Hootsuite research. Canadians spend an average of 7.9 hours/month using the WhatsApp app on an android phone.
Owned by Facebook/Meta Platforms since 2012
The Social Media Lab reports 51 percent of online Canadian adults have an Instagram account. Forty-five percent visit the network at least once per month.
CIRA research says 40 percent of Canadians use Instagram. 58.2 percent of Canadian internet users visit Instagram each month.
Canadian users spend an average of 9.4 hours/month on the Instagram app using android smartphones.
Fifty-three percent of Canadians say they use Instagram most often of all social media networks.
Fifty-eight percent of women use Instagram, compared to 43 percent of men.
Instagram popularity is consistent across all income brackets in Canada.
The potential reach of advertisers via Instagram is 52.6 percent in Canada.
Owned by Google since 2006
Canadians consume an exceptionally high level of video content online, and it isn’t all entertainment. In fact, 40.8 percent of Canadians age 16-64 watch tutorials, how-to, or other educational videos online. Almost 17 percent watch ‘vlogs’ (blogs in video format) every week as well.
CIRA ranks YouTube as the second most popular social media network in Canada, with 55 percent of those surveyed using it.
The Social Media Lab ranks YouTube as the third most popular social media network in Canada, with 62 percent of online adults using the platform.
Seventy-two percent of Canadians use YouTube most regularly of all social networks, according to Statista.
Canadian users spend an average of 17.1 hours/month on the YouTube app using android smartphones.
YouTube advertisers see an average reach of 91.9 percent in Canada, ranking 10th in the world.
Twenty-seven percent of online Canadians have a Snapchat account, according to The State of Social Media in Canada 2022 report.
Twenty-seven percent of Canadians say they use Snapchat most often of all social media networks.
30.3 percent of Canadian users visit Snapchat every month.
Younger Canadians (age 18-34) are the largest user group and they use the network most often.
Advertisers can reach 31.2 percent of Canadians on Snapchat (10,300,000 total reach).
Forty percent of online adult Canadians have a Twitter account.
Twenty-nine percent of Canadians say they use Twitter most often of all social media networks.
36.8 percent visit Twitter each month.
Canadian households earning over $100k/year are the biggest Twitter fans.
Twitter is most popular among Canadians with a post graduate degree.
Canadians who are employed full-time (49%) or are self-employed (49%) are big users of the platform.
Ad reach on Twitter in Canada is 23.9 percent (7,900,000 total reach).
Thirty-six percent of online Canadian adults have a Pinterest account, according to the Social Media Lab.
Pinterest came in second behind Facebook in Statista’s traffic ranking, at 17.88 percent of all Canadian social media network visits.
Twenty-eight percent of Canadians say they use Pinterest most often of all social media networks.
34.5 percent of Canadian users visit Pinterest every month.
Canadian adult women (51%) are more likely to be on Pinterest compared to men at just 21 percent.
Pinterest adoption is highest among Canadians with lower incomes, but visit frequency is stable among all income levels (24-29%).
Canada has one of the largest audiences on Pinterest, at 28 percent (9,265,000 total reach).
Twenty-six percent of Canadians use TikTok and 65 percent of them visit the platform daily.
Every month, an average of 3.2 million Canadians are on TikTok.
Seventy-six percent of Canadians age 18-24 have a TikTok account. The fastest growing demographic are 25-34 years of age (54%).
Sixty percent of Canadian TikTok users are women and 40 percent are men.
Thirty percent of Canadians say they use TikTok most often of all social media networks. 32.2 percent say they visit the network every month.
Advertising reach on TikTok in Canada is currently 36.1 percent.
Thirty-seven percent of online Canadian adults have a LinkedIn account, according to the Social Media Lab.
Twenty-four percent of Canadians say they use LinkedIn most often of all social media networks.
31.4 percent of Canadian LinkedIn users are on the network every month.
LinkedIn is more popular with employed (50%) and self-employed (45%) Canadians than it is with the unemployed (23%).
The adoption rate of LinkedIn dropped the most of all networks since 2020, with a 7 percent decline.
The advertising reach on LinkedIn is 61.3 percent in Canada. That’s 19,000,000 total reach, ranking 8th in the world.
Nineteen percent of online Canadian adults have a Reddit account.
Twenty percent of Canadians say they use Reddit most often of all social media networks.
Most Canadian Reddit users are ages 18-24 (45%) or 25-34 (41%).
Men are 5% more likely to have a Reddit account than women.
Adoption rates are more than double among employed or self-employed Canadians, compared to the unemployed.
26.7 percent of Canadian Reddit users visit the network each month.
Thirteen percent of online Canadian adults have a Twitch account.
Ten percent visit the platform at least every month.
Ten percent of Canadians say they use Twitch most often of all social media networks.
Young Canadian gamers are the biggest fans of Twitch, making the network most popular for the 18-24 (42%) and 25-34 (31%) demographic.
Growing Social Media Networks
When it comes to social media, it pays to stay on top of what’s trending because things can change quickly. While their Canadian user numbers are still relatively low, TikTok (+11%), Reddit (+4%), and Twitch (+4%) had the most significant user growth in Canada, compared to 2020.
As more social media data is released throughout 2022, we’ll update this report. Please follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of updates.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.