Meta’s social platforms are the most popular with newcomers to Canada

The latest MTM report shows social media is the most popular news source for newcomers.

The most recent report from Media Technology Monitor shows that social media is the most popular source of news content for newcomers to Canada. According to MTM, 42% of newcomers who have consumed news within the last month, cited social media as their go-to news source, followed by news websites (27%), TV (21%), and radio (6%).

The report, based on a survey sample of more than 4,000 newcomers to Canada from around the globe (along with a control sample of 800 native-born Canadians), was administered in eight different languages. MTM reports that social media is also the most common way newcomers learn about local or community events (68%). This is higher than communications with friends and family (58%), messaging apps (47%), online websites or blogs (45%), or local TV (28%).

MTM also found that social media is one of the most popular monthly pastimes for newcomers, exceeded only by YouTube viewing and watching TV content online. Newcomers (31%) who use social media are using six or more platforms to do so, compared to just 10% of Canadian-born individuals who use social media. Facebook remains the most popular platform among both groups – 87% of newcomers versus 88% of Canadian-born individuals – but there’s a bigger gap for the company’s WhatsApp chat platform, which is used by 66% of newcomers and 23% of those born in Canada.

Additionally, 72% of newcomers say they used a social network in the past month compared to 82% of the Canadian-born population. Newcomers from Europe or America are more likely to be social media users, along with more educated newcomers or those from more affluent households.

Newcomers are also far more likely than Canadian-born individuals to use WhatsApp (66% among newcomers versus 23% for those born in Canada) or Telegram (21% versus 4%). These are communication-focused platforms that offer free messaging, voice, and video calling that gives them an inexpensive way to stay in touch here in Canada and back in their home country. Their use of platform also includes Instagram (65% versus 53%) and TikTok (32% versus 19%).

Smartphones are the devices most used to access social media: 87% of newcomers compared to 76% of Canadian-born social media users. Whether they are newcomers or not, women are more likely to use social media than men.