Monday, June 15, 2009


Putting Twitter use in perspective
Matt Hartley
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Just how popular is Twitter in Canada?
That depends. You’re going to have a very different perspective on the micro-blogging service that is taking the world by storm depending on whether you’re attending a technology conference in Toronto or hanging out in a Tim Hortons in Sudbury.
In the technosphere, sometimes it can be easy to think that technology trends are like Carrie Prejean jokes -- everyone gets them.
But sometimes it’s important to take off our tech-coloured glasses and take a step back to soak in how the rest of the country views the latest happenings in the social networking world.
While PR professionals, journalists and various B-level celebrities have embraced Twitter with a certain degree of zeal, the rest of Canada hasn’t exactly warmed to Twitter just yet.
It's certainly no Facebook, that's for sure.
According to a recent poll put together by Ipsos Reid, only about one out of every 100 Canadians is using Twitter.
The study, which polled 824 Canadian adults online, found that 26 per cent of respondents are aware of Twitter, and that only 6 per cent of them had actually spent some time coming up with witty 140-character messages.
That translates to only 1.45 per cent of the Internet population in Canada actively using Twitter, or about one per cent of the population as a whole.
That’s 300 people out of 30,000 mocking Alex Rios in 140-character installments at a Blue Jays game in Toronto.
Fascinating stuff, especially when you consider that an estimated 3 out of every 5 Canadians is on Facebook. Twitter also happens to be the 17th most popular Internet site in Canada, according to, which I suppose means that those who use Twitter, use it a lot.
Unsurprisingly, people between the age of 18 and 34 are more likely to be Twitter users than the rest of the population, with 32 per cent saying they were aware of the service. University grads are nearly twice as likely to be aware of Twitter compared to those folks with a high school education or less.
Twitter seems to be least popular in Quebec, with only 7 per cent of respondents saying they were aware of the service. Perhaps this is due to a French language divide, since Twitter is one of the 25 most popular Websites in more than a dozen countries, but ranks No. 219 in France.


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