Canadians spend more time on the internet than any other country in the world. Why?

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

Californians love surfing the waves.

Canadians love surfing the web.

Indeed, for many years Canadians have lead the way in internet usage, topping survey results and data collections through and through. While Canada has less overall people than the U.S., China, or India, higher percentages of our population spend more time online.

The Canadian Press talked to a some of the Internet's biggest and brightest about what Canadians are doing online:

Canadians spend more time online than users in any of the countries tracked by measurement company comScore, which also said Canada had the highest penetration of Internet access. About 68 per cent of the Canadian population is online, comScore estimated in April, compared to 62 per cent in France and the United Kingdom, 60 per cent in Germany, 59 per cent in the United States, 57 per cent in Japan, and 36 per cent in Italy.

Canada was the only country in which users logged an average of more than 2,500 minutes online a month, which is almost 42 hours. Israel was second with an average of around 2,300 minutes, while a few other countries were around the 2,000-minute mark.

And we're always bleeding edge, it seems: we get addicted to internet stuff before other countries even know it's going to be popular. “In Canada, YouTube per capita consumption of video is No. 1 in the world, it's just absolutely crazy in terms of how passionate Canadians are about YouTube,” Chris O'Neill, Canada's country director for Google, told the Press. In fact, according to the Globe and Mail article, it's estimated that about 21 million Canadians visit YouTube each month. 147 million Americans do the same—but factor in that the U.S. has 10 times Canada's population, and you quickly realize Canadians are way ahead on a per capita basis.

Heck, Canadian users even view more overall videos, clocking in a sky-high average of 147 per month—compared with a mere 100 per U.S. viewer. And let's not forget our early adoption of Facebook, even though it was originally launched across American universities:

Canadians were among the eager early adopters of Facebook and at one point trailed just the U.S. in overall numbers of users. According to socialbakers.com, Canada has more than 17 million users, and is neck and neck with India for 9th and 10th on the list of the countries with the most Facebook accounts. But Canada's penetration rate of about 51.2 per cent of the population, or 65.9 per cent of the online population, is still one of the most significant on Facebook.

Twitter, a "real-time information network," not a social network like Facebook, is much smaller, but still growing at an impressively rapid rate. And many thanks to Canadians for that:  “What we can share is that the number of Twitter accounts in Canada has increased by 75 per cent since the beginning of the year, and the number of daily tweets more than doubled,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an email to the Canadian Press.

Vancouver's Hootsuite Media saw 250 per cent growth in usage among its Canadian users this year. About 5.5 per cent of its daily traffic comes from Canadian users. And what's a Twitter discussion without its reigning superstar? One Canadian user is among the most influential of them all: teen popstar Justin Bieber, with an incredible 6,400,000 followers, is mentioned in nearly a quarter of a million tweets each and every day. Wow.

Want even more sites dominated by Canada? Check it out:

The average Canadian web surfer reads 16 Wikipedia pages a month, which is the most in the world — one more than German users, two more than Polish users and four more than Americans. Canadian users generate about 217,000 edits a month, which ranks 8th among the most productive countries.

It's truly amazing that such a small (population wise) country and dominate so many aspects of internet usage. It's like we're Silicon Valley. But for some reason, we're short on theories. Nobody's really delved into this consistent trend to try and figure out what's in our water.

Maybe it's because we're lonely in our igloos spaced so far apart that the internet is our saviour of entertainment and socialization.

Or maybe we're just awesome.

Why do you think we spend so much time online?

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more




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