Nearly four in ten internet-connected adults in Canada (37%) have visited an online social network or online social community and three in ten (29%) have placed a profile on at least one such site, a new study by Ipsos Reid has found.
Younger Canadian adults are much more likely to have visited such websites and placed a personal profile on at least one of them, according to “Online Socialization, Social Networking and Online Communities”:
Most visitors of such sites end up putting on a profile: With nearly four in ten internet-connected adults in Canada (37%) having visited an online social network or online social community, and three in ten (29%) having placed a personal profile, nearly eight in ten visitors have been converted to users.
“This is a staggering result given that these sites didn’t exist four years ago. Facebook launched in early 2004, as did MSN Spaces, two of the largest such sites on the internet,” said Scott Patton, senior research manager in Western Canada. “The growth in use of these sites simply hasn’t been matched by any other internet activities we’ve ever seen.”
Other findings and data from the Ipsos Reid study:
“Given the differences in online behavior between users and non-users, plus the sheer number of hours spent online by people visiting social network sites, the opportunities simply cannot be ignored from a marketing perspective,” Patton said. “Visitors to these sites are more apt to respond to a marketing message and make a purchase online…. The challenge is to decide which online social network to partner with when targeting your customers.”
About the study (pdf): The “Online Socialization, Social Networking and Online Communities” survey is a special feature of the Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, Quarter 2, 2007 – which studies quarterly internet trends in Canada. The results are based on two separate data collection instruments. In the first, 1,000 web users from Ipsos Reid’s Canadian Internet Panel are surveyed online. Panelists are chosen through random telephone surveys conducted on an ongoing basis across Canada. Results are complemented by a further 1,000 interviews via telephone with Canadian adults in order to verify results of the panel, and track issues among non-internet users. Telephone interviews for this release were conducted from July 26 to 30, 2007; the online data was collected from July 31 to August 7, 2007. These data are statistically weighted to reflect the population proportions of regular online users by online expertise and regional distribution.
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