Apparently, almost everyone. According to the CIRA, “Canada has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the world. With nearly 8 in 10 Canadians online, the vast majority of those daily users, Canada is within the top quartile of countries globally.” CIRA says that the majority of Canadians who go online do so to access content from YouTube and Facebook.
Prior to assuming my current role with a children’s charity, I had the opportunity to talk and interact with a number of key players in Ottawa’s hi-tech industry. They often expressed that their key concern–what kept them up at night—was figuring out how to keep Canada’s IT infrastructure globally competitive. To consume and produce online content (i.e. to actively participate in the evolution of web 2.0), you have to be able to access it quickly and at low cost. Canada just barely made that global top quartile (it ranks 19 out of 20). If you want fast and cheap internet access, go to South Korea (it ranks number 1)—you’ll be able to watch Psy’s video for Gangnam Style as often as you want and upload all the photos from your vacation to your Facebook page without worrying about whether you will exceed your monthly data plan allocation.
One reason I bring this up is because I recently moved to a small, rural area and getting connected to the internet is not as straightforward as it seems (smartphone use also has its challenges). When I want to use social media, I will typically wait until I get into the city where the connection speed is faster so I can avoid the pain of video buffering and playback problems as well as long download and upload times. It’s strange to consider that I may be one of the 2 in 10 Canadians not online (at least at home)! This has definitely impacted how I access and how often I use social media. That said, I am happy to know that when I am online, I am doing what most Canadians do: watching videos and checking-in on friends and family!
Another reason I am interested in these stats is because some of the clients of the organization I currently work for live outside of the downtown area. It’s important to know how they will be accessing any content the organization publishes online. Also, the organization has limited resources to invest in its online communications and marketing efforts—it cannot use all social media tools—so it has to pick and choose which ones it will develop.
A couple of articles I found that talk about the increase in video consumption online and our growing use of Facebook: