More than 19 million Canadians are now logging onto Facebook at least once every month — that’s more than half the population — while 14 million check their newsfeed every single day, according to a batch of new statistics being released by the social network on Wednesday.
Of Facebook’s Canadian users, 13 million are accessing the site at least once a month on a mobile device, while 9.4 million use a phone or tablet to interact with the social network daily.
Although desktop users still outnumber mobile users by a large margin, overall mobile usage has now exceeded traffic via computers.
“Mobile is a rocket ship ¦ if you look at interactions per day, people are way more engaged on mobile devices than desktop devices,” said Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada.
“Consumer behaviour is just fundamentally changing these days and so whereas it used to be that somebody would jump online maybe once a day and they’d do it from their PC, people are now online multiple times a day and they’re online across a whole variety of different devices, the majority of which are mobile.”
Banks said daily Facebook usage in Canada is higher than both the global and U.S. averages.
“One of the things (studied) is the percentage of monthly users that come back daily. Sixty-one per cent is pretty much the global average, in the U.S. that number is somewhere around 70% and in Canada it’s 74%.”
Facebook is releasing the data largely to help make its case to marketers that more ad money should be spent on the social network.
“If you think about the right people getting the right message at the right time and then targeting that against the right business objective, we feel we have a platform that is by far and away the best in Canada to do that,” Banks said.
“If you look at traditional media, people generally thought about reach across TV or across newspapers and that’s been a primary form of reach. And I think now what you see is by virtue of us having the 19 million Canadians in any given month and 14 million every single day, Facebook is now a primary form of reach for (advertisers), because not only can we reach people at a huge scale but we can target them in a way that has never been available before.”
Although some users have griped about the increased presence of ads on the site, Banks points out that usage hasn’t decreased.
“In your newsfeed, maximum you’ll see one out of every 20 posts is going to be an ad,” he said.
“We are constantly doing user research and test groups to see what type of effect do ads have on user behaviour and what we’ve seen is at the current five per cent ads-in-newsfeed ratio there’s no material effect on the satisfaction of users.”