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Canadians continue to flock to social media despite privacy concerns, research finds


Social Media may seem more and more invasive, but that hasn't stopped Canadians from regular use

New data from Insights West suggests social media use still on the rise in Canada

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Social media may seem more and more invasive, but that hasn’t stopped us from constantly glancing at our phones, according to new data compiled by Insights West.

The pollster says the reliance on Twitter and other apps continues to increase, and despite your online shopping history magically appearing in ad-form on your Facebook feed, it appears Canadians are still flocking to social media on a regular basis.

Insights President Steve Mossop says Mark Zuckerberg’s much maligned production remains one of the most popular weekly stops — even if those of a certain age will tell you it’s “out” these days.

“When you look at the overall numbers, and you see that the next largest — we have Facebook at 82 per cent of Canadians who use it weekly — the next number down is YouTube and it’s 63 per cent. When you look at hours spent, it’s the clear winner, and it doesn’t seem to dissipate,” he explains.

While you may not be surprised to learn Canadians lean on social media platforms more now than they did two or three years ago, Mossop adds it’s not quite what you think when it comes to who some of these apps are most popular with.

“Overall, when you look at the Gen X and the Baby Boomers, they’re really driving the behaviour. Millennials drive the behaviour when it comes to things like Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit, but the bulk of Facebook users and Twitter users, YouTube users, tend to be over the age of 34.”

When we talk about the “off the grid” crowd, Mossop says it seems it just hasn’t really shown itself yet.

The group’s President, Steve Mossop, says the “off the grid” crowd just hasn’t shown itself yet.

“The reality is the numbers don’t show that whatsoever. We also have about 80 per cent of social media users are worried that the activities that they do online are just used to determine the types of news and information that people see.”

Not only is weekly use going up, but the new research also suggests far more Canadians have taken to social media to complain to a brand directly, like a restaurant, or an airline.