What�s all That Twitter About � A Lot About Nothing?: Ipsos Reid Study

While 26% of Online Canadians are Aware of Twitter, Only 1.45% of Online Canadians Actually Use the Social Networking Tool

June 11, 2009 Calgary, AB – 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 activities.

“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.

This report is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid syndicated study, the Inter@ctive Reid Report, released in April 2009. This online survey of 824 Canadian adults was conducted via the Internet using Ipsos Reid’s online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.41 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modeling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.