I write about digital strategies and communications — and their intersection with culture, politics, journalism and social activism.

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Canadians Like Their Social Networks

I've just been looking at research firm Ipsos Reid's 2010 Canadian Internet Fact Guide, which I think was released this summer but is based on 2009 data.

It's a useful snapshot of Canadians' internet behaviours, but a couple of facts jumped out at me (besides the fact that 84% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 have an online social network profile).

  • "86% of Canadians with online social networking profiles are aware of Twitter, although only 10% have a Twitter profile and 5% actively use it." Of those, 90% have their profile on Facebook.

Frankly, I don't believe this. While I accept Twitter tends to be used by an older demographic with younger people favouring BBM and texting in general, I wonder whether this has changed over the past year. Maybe its purely anecdotal, but I think business usage of Twitter has increased significantly over the past year, which should influence this number.

  • "56% of Canadians with online social networking profiles visit social networking sites at least weekly; 31% visit daily."

This I think is true . . . In a presentation at Meshmarketing in Toronto, Janice Diner of Horizon Studios says there are 16 million Canadians on Facebook who spend an average of 411 minutes per month on it (noting as well that about 38% are more than 35 years old).

  • "17% of  smartphone owners who also have an online social networking profile have downloaded a Facebook application to their phone; 4% have downloaded a Twitter application."

I would have thought this would be a lot higher, although again it may be that a year makes a huge difference in people's usage of social technologies. Diner's presentation, for example, says that 200 million globally engage with Facebook on their mobile devices and they are twice as active users as others.

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