Facebook reigns supreme with Canadians: study

Despite being most popular, the MTM's study confirmed the trending stereotype that Facebook is most popular with older users.

facebookofficeDespite  high-profile data scandals and disputes about metrics, Facebook is still the king of social media in Canada.

However, while Instagram and Twitter have smaller followings than the social media giant, those two networks attract younger Canadians, according to a trio of recent Media Technology Monitor (MTM) surveys.

facebookreactionsFacebook still getting likes, loves and wows

The platform was by far the most popular choice among Canadians, with 70% of respondents saying they had used Facebook in the past month, according to two surveys of 12,345 Canadians. In comparison, 37% of Canadians said they had used Instagram and 30% had used LinkedIn, according to MTM.

Facebook remains particularly dominant among the 52+ set, making up 35% of its Canadian user base, according to MTM. The stereotype that Facebook is an older social network bears out, with only 16% of its Canadian users being Gen Z-ers (ages 18 to 28), according to the surveys. Just over half (55%) of users are women and 45% are male.

The report found there are three main user segments on Facebook: Lurkers (36%), Contributors (29%) and Investors (35%). Lurkers primarily follow friends and family and may like, or comment, on posts from those people. Contributors also engage with posts, but they also post their own content, such as updates, photos and videos. Meanwhile, Investors also follow friends and family, but additionally follow media companies and personalities.

The most common way to access Facebook is via smartphone, followed closely by computers, according to those surveyed.

instagramlogoInstagram appeals to younger women

Instagram has steadily grown in popularity among Canadians – rising from 15% reporting using the social network in the past month in the spring of 2015 up to 31% in the most recent survey.

More women (60%) use Instagram than men (40%), while the combination of Gen Z (ages 18 to 28), Gen Y, (29 to 37) and Gen X (38 to 51) make up the majority of users at 82%.

The MTM report split Instagram users into two main categories: Individual Instagrammers (49% of users) and Corporate Instagrammers (51%). Individual Instagrammers are more likely to follow friends and family over companies; Corporate Instagrammers are more likely to follow companies and news organizations. Close to a quarter (24%) of Corporate Instagrammers come from households with a household income of $150,000+, while 20% of Individual Instagrammers also come from affluent homes.

twitterlogoTwitter gets Gen X men logging on

Like Facebook, Twitter has weathered it share of public controversies. However, scrutiny has not led to a decrease in use. In the spring of 2015, 17% of Canadians reported using Twitter in the past month, but that was up to 21% in the most recent survey. While its user base remains relatively stable in Canada it lags behind Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as the fourth most popular platform among Canadians.

Twitter users skew male, at 55% of users, and 45% female. While Twitter users are not as old as Facebook’s, the majority (59%) are aged 38 and up. Gen X-ers lead the pack, making up 32% of users, those 52+ make up 27%, Gen Y make up 22%, while Gen Z are the smallest group of users at 19%.

The MTM report divided Twitter users into three segments: Followers, Video Twits and Actively Engaged. Followers, unsurprisingly, mainly follow other Twitter users and like other people’s content on Twitter. Video Twits also follow people and like content, but they additionally consume video content, such as live, professional and amateur content, via Twitter. The Actively Engaged segment are similar to Video Twits and also post their own Tweets.

The vast majority (77%) consume Twitter on their smartphones, with using a computer to access Twitter lagging behind at 48%.

Twitter users also tend to use the internet far more, racking up 34.9 hours per week compared to 26.7 hours for the average social media users, according to the report.