TikTok, Reddit and LinkedIn are gaining social media share

The latest MTM report looks at how Canadians are using social media in 2022.

Total social media usage has remained relatively unchanged for the last five years, but a handful of newer platforms have been taking a greater share of time spent on the platforms.

That’s according to the latest MTM report taking a look at social media, to understand social networks and their users as they currently stand.

Almost four in five English-speakers use social media. Usage has remained stable since 2017, even as the popularity of individual social media platforms has ebbed and flowed over this same period. Usage is highest among students, 18 to 34- year-olds, Indigenous Canadians and those with children in their households.

Seven in 10 Internet users are on Facebook. By integrating features from other websites and platforms, while still retaining many features the platform was built around, Facebook has stayed highly relevant. The next-most popular platforms are Instagram (42%) and WhatsApp (33%). Social networkers aren’t limiting themselves to just one platform, with 49% relying on four or more platforms on a monthly basis.

TikTok and Reddit are not quite on Facebook’s level, but gaining ground. Use of TikTok has grown from 3% to 22% of Canadians in the past three years, with 54% of Gen Zs on the platform. Use of Reddit has almost doubled in the same period (13% to 22%). During this time, Facebook usage dropped slightly from 74% to 70%, Instagram decreased from 43% to 42%, while LinkedIn use grew from 22% to 27%.

Smartphones are the most preferred and convenient way to access social media, with 87% of social media users accessing the platforms with their smartphones. That was followed by computers and laptops (68%) and tablets (28%). Use of these devices has been stable before, during and after the pandemic. The exceptions include LinkedIn and Discord users, who are more likely to access these platforms with a computer/laptop than a smartphone – likely because of LinkedIn’s focus on professional life, and Discord’s popularity with gamers and streamers who are also doing those activities from a PC.

Social media platforms serve up news content and 37% of anglophone Internet users say they have used a social media platform as a news source in the past month, with 26% citing Facebook specifically as a news source, compared to 13% who look to Twitter or 11% who use Reddit. Despite the hype, online anglophones are more likely to turn to broadcaster news websites/apps as a news source than social media platforms (57% versus 37%).