A look ahead at Canada’s social media penetration: eMarketer

According to new North American social media numbers, 58% of Canadians will be on social media this year.

Social media penetration is slowing but predicted to keep growing through 2021.

Facebook remains the biggest social network.

Canadians over-index on Twitter use.

Those are three big takeaways from the most recent North American social media numbers from eMarketer.

The report sourced quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies in June.

Overall, nearly 58% of Canadians (21.2 million people) are reported to be social media users in 2017. That’s compared with 67% of the U.S. population (191.1 million people). Growth in both countries is expected to continue climbing slowly through 2021, peaking at 60.7% of Canadians and 69.8% of Americans.

But when looking at the portion of the population that are regular internet users, social media penetration goes even higher. In Canada, 70.9% of internet users are expected to be social media users in 2017, with that number predicted to rise to 73.6% in 2021. In the U.S., 69.9% of internet users are predicted to be on social media in 2017, jumping to 72.3% in 2021.

Facebook remains the largest social media network in North America, according to the report. More than half the population of Canada (51.8%) and the U.S. (52.5%) will access the site regularly this year. The number of Facebook users and social media network users in North America overall is rising at the same rate (2.9%) this year.

Smartphones are the primary form of Facebook access, with 90.8% of Canadians on the site and 88% of American Facebook users accessing it through the screen in their pockets.

In 2017, 89.7% of social network users in North America will go on Facebook at least once a month. By 2021, eMarketer predicts that share will to slip to 89.0% due to increased competition from the likes of Instagram and Snapchat.

While Twitter operates on a much smaller scale, it’s more popular in Canada than it is in the U.S. One-quarter of Canadian internet users and 35.2% of social network users (compared with 19.5% and 27.9% of Americans) will use Twitter regularly in 2017. User growth on Twitter is predicted to rise by 0.9% in Canada and 1.9% in the U.S. this year.

EMarketer doesn’t have enough data yet to fully track Canadian users and growth on Instagram and Snapchat, according to a representative.

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