There’s no denying the fact that social media has changed the way we live, work, and interact with those around us. This is true in most parts of the world, including Canada.
Here, social media platforms like Instagram are more popular than ever before, appealing to a wide range of audiences and users.
How are Canadians interacting with the photo-heavy app and what features are they drawn to more than others? Today, we’re breaking down some of the top Instagram statistics, sharing what we’ve discovered, what it means, and how it will help shape and redefine the future.
A Snapshot of Social Media Use in Canada
If you’ve ever scrolled your smartphone aimlessly, only to look up and find that a full hour has passed, then you know the stronghold that social media can have. As the Digital Age continues to make us all more connected, it’s the one mainstay that most of us continue to access on a daily basis.
Studies show that by 2026, around 38.18 million Canadians will be active on social media. That represents 96% of the country’s population!
When they hop online, they aren’t just checking their feeds briefly and hopping back off. Rather, they’re staying there for increasingly long periods of time, responding to comments, checking posts, and finding other people to follow. In fact, researchers recently found that most Canadians spend five hours and 53 minutes online each day, devoting one hour and 49 minutes of that time specifically to social media.
In some cases, this uptick in usage can be directly attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Though stay-at-home orders are starting to lift and most businesses are opening back up for in-person patronage, interacting online still feels safer and more accessible.
Related: Canadian Social Media Statistics
The Impact of the Pandemic on Social Media Use
However, we can expect that Canadians will continue utilizing these platforms in a post-pandemic world. While more than six in 10 Canadians admit that their screen time has increased over the past two years, 57% say they have no plans to decrease this use once the pandemic is deemed to be over.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, some sites have grown in popularity while others have stayed the same or even experienced a setback. The platforms that experienced the most significant user growth in Canada between 2020 and now include:
- TikTok: 11% growth
- Reddit: 4% growth
- Twitch: 4% growth
In the future, we can expect for activity on these platforms to grow even more. Though their Canadian user rates are somewhat low now, all three of these platforms are growing in popularity around the world, and those trends should also manifest here.
Negative Effects of Excessive Social Media Use
While these statistics show that social media use is up in Canada, this isn’t always linked to favorable outcomes. There’s a more negative side to social media, especially when individuals overuse the technology. Researchers have found that scrolling through the apps can lead to:
- Sleep loss
- Declined physical activity
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks or activities
- Feelings of envy
- Feelings of frustration
- Feelings of anger
In a survey of social media use in Canada, researchers found that respondents agree with many of these sentiments. Social media users aged 15 to 64 reported feeling the following emotions in the past year:
- Lost sleep: 19%
- Gotten less physical activity: 22%
- Found it more difficult to concentrate on tasks and activities: 18%
They tie these negative effects to their continued social media use. They also point to sites like Facebook and Instagram when describing emotions of jealousy or frustration they’ve felt over the past 12 months.
According to the report, 12% to 14% of Canadians feel anxious, depressed, frustrated, or angry when they scroll the sites. They also feel envious of the lives that others portray on the platforms. That number equals around one in every eight Canadian social media users.
Canadian Instagram Statistics to Know
Canadians are no strangers to the vast array of different social networks available online. Today, some of the most popular platforms in the country include:
Of these, Instagram is ranked the fourth most popular social media site in the country, with a market share of around 1.21%. Specifically, 53% of Canadians report using this app the most often out of all the different social media networks they’ve joined in the past. According to one report, Instagram use in Canada has increased by 8% from 2017 until now, along with a 16% increase in YouTube users and a 7% increase in LinkedIn activity.
These apps allow us to connect with others and share snippets of our daily lives in the process. We can also use them to glean inspiration, share our voice on popular issues, and even build profitable, all-virtual brands (in the case of Instagram influencers)
On Instagram, in particular, there is an emphasis on rich visuals, including pictures, video reels, shorter video clips, and more. Though it was acquired by Facebook/Meta Platforms in 2012, the site still looks and operates much as it did when it first launched.
Let’s take a look at some of the top social media stats you need to know about this platform.
Total Instagram Accounts
The study linked above shows that 51% of Canadian adults who spend time online have dedicated Instagram accounts. However, that doesn’t mean that all of these users are active at the same time.
Research also shows that 69% of Canadians log into Instagram at least once each day, and 45% visit the network at least once a month.
In the same study, researchers found that young people (aged 18-24) are the largest overall adopters of social media. On Instagram, the 18-24 and 25-34 groups are the most dominant users. Across most social platforms in Canada, social media use tends to drop off with age.
Around nine in 10 Canadians aged 15 to 34 report using social media on a regular basis. However, only eight in 10 Canadians aged 35 to 49 do the same. In the 50-64 age bracket, social media usage is even lower, with just six in 10 Canadians accessing the platforms regularly.
As such, many of the advertisements and influencer marketing efforts on apps like Instagram are designed to appeal to these specific markets. Studies show that this can be a lucrative opportunity, allowing brands to reach and influence a larger number of followers without spending a ton of money on elaborate marketing campaigns.
In Canada, advertisers have a total potential advertising reach of 52.6%. This means that one ad can reach more than half of all the social media users in the country, which is a substantial ROI.
Men vs. Women
Between male and female users, female Instagram users take a slight edge. Around 59% of women use Instagram while only 43% of men do. This balance almost tipped at the height of the pandemic, but it never did.
Now, women continue to adopt apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest in higher proportions than men. They also use in-app messaging platforms more frequently. Conversely, Canadian men tend to outpace women on the following social media sites:
Time on Site
When you’re scrolling through Instagram, a “quick” session often extends into a multi-hour ordeal. If it feels like you’ve been staring at your screen for a little longer than usual, you aren’t alone.
Researchers have found that Canadians spend an average of 9.4 hours each month on the Instagram app, and most of them access the app on their Android smartphones.
Related: Usage of Smartphones in Canada
Intent for Use
Sometimes, social media lives up to its name. It’s purely social, serving as a platform for us to connect with people we know and discover new connections who share our common interests.
Yet, it can also go beyond that. Many people check their phones each morning to watch the news or catch up on the day’s events. Studies show that 13% of Canadians currently use Twitter to find the news they need, while 10% go straight to Instagram.
However, when it comes to general use, Instagram takes the lead. An estimated 35% of users access Instagram to discover all other types of content beyond news, while only 25% of users stay on Twitter once they’ve found the updates they need.
Some sites are naturally inclined to attract users in a higher income bracket. For instance, this is usually true of sites like LinkedIn, which people utilize to find jobs and grow their personal networks.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Instagram. When researchers reviewed usage numbers across all age ranges, demographics, and income levels, they did not find any major discrepancies with regard to income.
Use These Instagram Statistics to Your Advantage
As a business leader, you know that your brand is only as powerful and profitable as the audience that it manages to reach. Social media remains one of the most efficient, cost-effective tools in your outreach arsenal.
These Instagram statistics prove the value of this platform. If you can reach and advertise to these users, you could see substantial growth in your brand awareness, audience size, and bottom line.
Related: How to increase organic reach on Instagram
Looking for a digital marketing firm that can help you leverage this potential? We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our social media marketing services and more.