More than half of online Canadians are social networking: Ipsos Reid

[ More than half of online Canadians are social networking: Ipsos Reid ]

June 22, 2009 | By David Brown | Comments

Canadians’ love of social networking, and of Facebook in particular, shows no signs of letting up, according to a new study from Ipsos Reid.

Some 56% of all online Canadians now have a social network profile up from 39% just 18 months ago. The study also found that, when online, Canadians are now spending more than one-third of their time each week on social network sites.

“Social networks get a lot of press and rightfully so, they are becoming the communications tool of the 21st century,” said study author Mark Laver, in a release. “The increasing concentrations of people at these types of websites make them very attractive to online marketers and businesses.”

Facebook continues to be the online social destination of choice for Canadians. Of those with a social network profile, 85% are with Facebook. Almost one-third (32%) of respondents who were “aware” of Facebook had visited the site in 48 hours before taking the survey and 44% had visited in the past week, according to the Ipsos findings.

Women are more likely then men to have a social network profile—59% compared to 52%—and young people (18—34) are also much more likely to be socially networked (86%) compared to older (55+) wired Canadians (44%).

“What is surprising is the degree to which older members of the population are also exploring online social networks,” said Laver.

“As the consumer continues to spend increasing amounts of time in the digital world businesses and marketers are paying increasing attention to the Internet,” he added. “However, online social networks tend to be extremely personal and this creates a dilemma for marketers and businesses—how to communicate in a personalized setting without upsetting the target audience.”

Source: Marketing Magazine