Survey finds Canadians are spending less time on social media but TikTok is the exception

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A Census-balanced Survey About Social Media Adoption and Use in Canada

TORONTO — Pre-pandemic, Canadians’ love affair with social media shows no signs of slowing. But after living through two years of COVID-19 restrictions, more Canadians are reevaluating the role of social media in their lives.

According to a new report, ‘The State of Social Media in Canada 2022’, released today by the Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University, Canadians are spending less time on social media now that most pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Facebook has the highest percentage of daily users at 70%, but this percentage dropped from a previous high of 77% daily users in 2020. In comparison with our data from 2020, TikTok is the only platform showing a slight 2% increase in the percentage of daily users. In contrast, Reddit has the largest drop of daily users (-14%). 

The survey shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in some changes in where and how often Canadians are spending their time on social media,” said Mai. “TikTok has emerged as the clear winner among the platforms; compared to data we collected in 2020, it had the largest gain (11%) in the number of Canadian adults who reported having an account on the platform in 2022.” 

Fewer Canadians reported having an account on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Dominant platforms such as Facebook, messaging apps and YouTube are still on top, but newer platforms such as TikTok and more niche platforms such as Reddit and Twitch are gaining ground. LinkedIn’s adoption rate has dropped by 7% since our last survey in 2020, going from 44% to 37%. The adoption rate of Facebook and Pinterest has also declined but not as drastically as LinkedIn’s rate of decline, each dropping by 3% and 4% since 2020 correspondingly. 

The report provides a snapshot of the social media usage trends amongst online Canadians,” said Gruzd. “The report includes the most up to date stats about social media adoption and use in Canada broken down by gender, age, income and education.

The data was collected between May 12–31, 2022 and is based on a census-balanced online survey of 1,500 online Canadian adults (18+). 

Highlights

  • 1.   TikTok (+11%), Reddit (+4%), and Twitch (+4%) had the largest increase in the number of users, relative to our data from 2020—See p.5.
  • 2.   LinkedIn’s adoption rate in Canada saw the largest decrease, dropping 7% since 2020.
  • 3.   Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in Canada; 80% of online Canadian adults report having a Facebook account, followed by messaging apps (66%), YouTube (62%) and Instagram (51%)—See p.5.
  • 4.   Facebook also has the highest percentage of daily users (70%), but this percentage dropped from a previous high of 77% daily users in 2020 —See p. 6.
  • 5.   While the number of Canadians on TikTok is relatively small (26%), those who do use the platform visit it regularly (65% daily)—See p. 6 and 15.
  • 6.   Across all social media platforms, adoption tended to drop off with age —See pp. 7–17.
  • 7.   Young people aged 18–24 are the largest adopters of social media (except for Facebook and LinkedIn). —See pp. 7–17. 
  • 8.   Women have adopted Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok and messaging apps in higher proportions than men —See pp. 7–17.
  • 9.   Men have adopted YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and Twitch in higher proportions than women—See pp. 7–17.
  • 10. As a general trend, full-time or part-time Canadians are more likely to be on social media than those who are self-employed or not working See pp. 7–17

For Media or other Inquires:

The report’s authors are available for media interviews to discuss the findings and implications from this new report. EMAIL: [email protected]

About the Social Media Lab

The Social Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory at Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University. The lab studies how social media is changing the ways in which people and organizations communicate, share information, conduct business, and form communities, and how these changes impact society. The broad aim of the lab’s research initiatives is to advance the public’s understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of social media adoption.