Infographic: Canadian Internet Usage Statistics on Mobile, Search and Social

Update: see recent social media usage statistics for British Columbia, as well as detailed Facebook usage statistics for Alberta!

In September of 2012, I had the pleasure of attending the one-year anniversary of the Google Engage Canada Conference in Vancouver. For part of the conference, I sat on a panel with representatives from two other digital marketing agencies and we shared our experiences with using Google products from an agency level.

It was a remarkable event to exchange ideas with industry experts and learn more about how Canadians are using the internet. Google shared detailed Canadian Internet statistics in search engine usage, mobile and social media which we have turned into the infographic below. For a list of stats in text format, scroll down below the infographic.

See more Canadian Facebook statistics (opens new window)
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Canadian Internet Mobile Search and Social Media Statistics Infographic

Canadian consumers are ahead of the game when it comes to digital – 80% of the population has internet access. More Canadians are embracing social media by using smartphones and watching videos online. The average Canadian consumer is plugged-in everywhere – while on the go, in the workplace, while watching TV, and while shopping. However, Canadian businesses are still lagging when it comes to ecommerce and mobile marketing. To engage with the ever-growing online population, businesses need to increase their online activity to capture this market.

It has been said that “mobile is the next big thing.” It’s not up and coming; it’s already here. Now businesses need to adapt and understand how to play the game – mobile advertising is worthwhile.

Consumers will reference your products while in store, whether they are looking up reviews, doing price comparisons, or checking out online retailers. Don’t miss out on the sale once you have them in store. Whether it is through effective use of QR codes, better mobile sites, incentives or relevant mobile ads, businesses need to think about how the shopping experience can be improved.

General Statistics

  • 27.4 million Canadians are online (that is 80% of the population!)
  • 17.2 hours are spent on the internet a week
  • 93% go online for product information
  • 44% use online videos more than they did last year
  • 25% would give up TV over their smartphone
  • 64% have a profile on a social network



  • 79% of Canadians don’t leave home without their mobile device
  • 97% use their phone at home
  • 83% use mobile on the go
  • People are using their phones in businesses:
  • 77% use mobile in stores
  • 77% use mobile at the workplace
  • 72% use mobile in restaurants
  • 56% use mobile in airports
  • 60-70% of Canadians are on mobile
  • 80% are on a smartphone
  • Smartphone searches to regular phone: 60:1
  • 86% of smartphone users notice mobile ads


57% have performed a mobile search after seeing an ad. Compare to:

  • TV: 49%
  • Shop: 47%
  • Magazine: 39%
  • Billboard/poster: 32%

Key Takeaways: “Mobile searches have local intent.” With smartphone usage growing, Canadian businesses need to take advantage of mobile for eCommerce, especially in terms of local searches. Compared to traditional advertising, mobile ads are more effective in driving search traffic.People can buy anything on mobile, e.g. toilet paper, especially if they don’t have a car and it gets delivered.

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Search and Social

  • 4.8 billion Canadian Google searches are performed each month
  • 16% of daily searches have never been searched before
  • 16.9 million Canadians are on social networks
  • 32% increase in total minutes on social networking sites from 2010 to 2011
  • Canada is leading on Google+ per capita
  • 25 million people in Canada watch online videos every month
  • Each person in Canada watches one hour per day of online videos – 80% of that is on YouTube

Key Takeaway: YouTube is now the second largest search engine. There is a great deal of opportunity in this arena, and not just for entertainment – video has evolved to become a valuable resource. It is worth noting that not everybody is looking for video when they search, but video reaches 91% of the Canadian population.

How can businesses utilize video? With in-video advertising, costs are relatively low, and it is effective for reaching local customers. Video on mobile is easily shared.

As you can see, social media isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Neither is mobile or YouTube. Rather, all statistics signify these platforms will evolve into one of our biggest marketing spaces.

The Google Engage Conference provided me with valuable insights on this topic, and I’m pleased to be able to share this information with you. Stay connected with the 6S blog for more interesting Google updates.

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