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Is Twitter a Whole Lotta Nuthin' to Canadians?

A new study from Ipsos Reid shows that only 26% of online Canadians
are aware of Twitter
. Of those, 6% reported using the social networking
tool. This only equates to 1.45% of the Internet population, or about
one percent of the population as a whole.

These are some of the
findings from “Social Networking: 2009”, a new study conducted and
released by Ipsos Reid. Study author Mark Laver noted that while
“Twitter gets a lot of press, and usage figures show impressive growth,
when you look at its awareness and use among mainstream online
Canadians, you get a completely different picture.”

Not surprisingly, awareness of Twitter is higher among 18-34
year olds (32% aware). Awareness is also significantly higher among
those online Canadians with University educations (34%, compared to
only 19% of those with a high school education or less). Interestingly,
awareness is significantly lower in Quebec (only 7%).

To many Canadians, the growth and resulting chatter about
Twitter appears to be a lot about nothing. “Many simply don’t want to
know what others had for breakfast or that they are going shopping”
continues Laver. “However, even at 140 characters Twitter can have some
useful applications beyond learning the minutia of others’ day-to-day

“From a business-to-business perspective, the tool can be used
to create brand interest, inform customers and potential customers,
gain industry knowledge about your competitors and what others are
saying about you, and lastly, create a community. For businesses, it’s
another weapon in the communications toolbox, but at this point it
shouldn’t be viewed as a standalone channel” concludes Laver.


  1. Lynda Partner
    Lynda Partner June 11, 2009

    When are we going to get over the “what we had for dinner” thing with twitter. Get over it! It’s not like that any more!

  2. Scott
    Scott June 11, 2009

    The study was run in April of 2009. According to its blog, Twitter wasn’t supporting two-way SMS with most major phone operators until late May. Most Canadians probably haven’t had enough time to see the full benefit of Twitter. Perhaps, it’s a little too soon to jump to the conclusion that Canadians aren’t interested in what others had for breakfast.

  3. Andreas Duess
    Andreas Duess June 11, 2009

    Whoever still drags the old “what I had for breakfast” argument out of the barn has instantly lost all credibility with me.
    The majority of high traffic twitter accounts are used to share knowledge, not to talk about day to day minutiae.

  4. Steven de Blois
    Steven de Blois June 12, 2009

    This article was a bit of head shaker.
    Twitter is an element within a social strategy. A complimentary channel to existing communication channels. It will never replace a call centre nor never be the lone soldier representing a social strategy. The trick is to find a healthy mix/balance. Twitter is a unique service offering unique insight into what prospects & existing clients are talking about.
    Always difficult to draw conclusions from data when unfamiliar with the subject.

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