Canadians present one face to social media

We all wear different masks at different times.

The persona you take on at work may be different from the one you have at home. The way you ingratiate yourself towards your boss is likely different from how you act around friends. One person has more than one personality – but do those habits extend to social media?

I’ve heard anecdotically from some friends that they operate two Facebook accounts. There’s a few good reasons to do this – some who work with children or young people might want to keep one account with limited information about their lives to communicate with youth, and another more personal account to relate to family and friends. Or perhaps some Facebook users just prefer to keep a separate account for the office and another (perhaps less politically correct) account for their personal life.

Related resource: Facebook Bible: everything you need to know about Canada’s favourite social network

Similarly, I’ve heard of many Twitter users often managing more than one account. Personally, I operate my own account and also contribute to a shared ITBusiness account. Since the best way to use Twitter is often selecting one niche topic and focusing your messages around that, it makes sense that some individuals would want to run more than one account. Perhaps someone who tweets about their day job as a real estate agent is also a member of a bluegrass band and they want to promote their weekend show, for example.

But just how common is this trend of social networking multiple personality disorder amongst Canadians? Perhaps Canada is on track to have over 100 per cent Facebook saturation because many people choose to operate two accounts – similar to how mobile phone penetration has exceeded 100 per cent in 30 countries around the world, including Italy and the Czech Republic, according to Informa Telecoms.

Thanks to the Delvinia Data Collection group, we were able to put that question to the test. asked 1,031 Canadians over the age of 18 about their social media accounts in Delvinia’s recent AskingCanadians online poll. It turns out that most Canadians approach social media with just one personality.

Almost 70 per cent of respondents said they operate one Facebook account, and only 3.5 per cent said they had two Facebook accounts. Less than half a percent of Canadians have three accounts or four or more accounts. Just over one-quarter of respondents said they didn’t have a Facebook account at all.

Canadian Facebok accounts
The number of Facebook accounts held by Canadian individuals.

Facebook recently pegged its Canadian members at about 15 million. If you extrapolate these poll results, that means that about 450,000 of those users operate two accounts, which would mean the actual number of Canadians on Facebook is closer to 14.5 million.

Twitter is a different story. Only 15 per cent of respondents operate a single Twitter account. Less than one per cent of respondents operated two or more Twitter accounts. These statistics reinforce the notion that Twitter is very popular amongst a small group of active users.

Canadian Twitter accounts
Number of Twitter accounts held by Canadian individuals.

So Canadians seem to approach their social media interaction with one face, presenting one version of themselves to the Internet.

Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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