The State of Social Media in Canada 2020

21 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2020

See all articles by Anatoliy Gruzd

Anatoliy Gruzd

Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

Philip Mai

Ryerson University

Date Written: July 13, 2020


In the era of COVID-19, social media has often been touted as an antidote to physical distancing. With so many Canadians stuck at home due to the pandemic, a new report gives an indication of just where they may be spending their time on social media.

The ‘State of Social Media in Canada 2020’ report by the Ryerson University Social Media Lab provides a snapshot of social media adoption and use in Canada.

The report includes new data about adoption and the use of Facebook, Instagram and other top Western-owned social media platforms. New for 2020, the report includes information about Canadian use of Chinese-owned social media platforms, messaging apps and blockchain-based social media sites.

The survey was conducted between April 9–17, 2020 and is based on a census-balanced online survey of 1,500 online Canadian adults (18+).

Highlights from “The State of Social Media in Canada 2020” include:

- YouTube (+16%), Instagram (+8%), and LinkedIn (+7%) had the largest increase in the number of daily users, relatively to our data from 2017.

- Across all social media platforms, adoption tended to drop off with age.

- Young people aged 18–24 are the largest adopters of social media (except for Facebook and LinkedIn).

- Social media is more popular with women than it is with men. Women have adopted Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok and messaging apps in higher proportions than men.
Men have adopted YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr in higher proportions than women.

- Canadians in the highest household income group ($80,000+) are more likely to use LinkedIn, than those who earn less.

- While the number of online Canadians on TikTok is relatively small (15%), those who do use the platform visit it regularly (63% daily).

- Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in Canada; 83% of online Canadian adults report having a Facebook account, followed by messaging apps (65%), YouTube (64%) and Instagram (51%).

- Facebook also has the highest percentage of daily users (77%), followed by messaging apps (69%) and Instagram (69%).

- However, all is not rosy for Facebook. Facebook’s share of users aged 18-24, a key demographic for numerous markets, dropped 11% (from 95% in 2017 to 84% in 2020). But Facebook, as a company, made up for the loss with a 22% increase in Instagram users aged 18-24 (from 67% in 2017 to 89% in 2020).

Keywords: social media, use and users, Canada, platforms, survey

Suggested Citation

Gruzd, Anatoliy and Mai, Philip, The State of Social Media in Canada 2020 (July 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Anatoliy Gruzd (Contact Author)

Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University ( email )

350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3

Philip Mai

Ryerson University ( email )

350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3

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