It's no secret that Internet users around the world are increasingly addicted to social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Their addition to putting their lives online was made plain in recent weeks when Google Plus was announced as an invite only service.
Demand was so high that the company effectively shut down the invitation system in order to make it more robust and able to cope with such high demand.
As it turns out, a lot of that demand may have come from Canadian users who are spending more time online that ever before. And Canadian internet users who have a Twitter account spend even more time online than their counterparts without an account on the popular microblogging website.
Hours and Hours of Internet Use
In 1997, long before the rise of social media services on the internet, the average English-speaking Canadian internet user recorded just 4.8 hours of internet use every week. French-speaking Canadians came in slightly lower back then, at around 4.1 hours per week of internet usage. The time that has transpired since that study has changed habits dramatically.
Non-Twitter users in Canada spend between 12.1 hours per week online (in French-speaking parts of the country) ad 17.1 hours per week (for those who speak English).
That's a huge jump over the past decade and a half, and is largely attributable to the greater number of online resources -- such as video streaming, blogs, and the aforementioned social media websites that draw such big numbers.
But as impressive as those numbers are, there are even loftier numbers for Canadian internet users with at least one Twitter account. English-speaking Canadians with a Twitter account use the internet for an average of 33.4 hours every week. That's almost twice the number of hours that their non-tweeting counterparts spend online.
And Francophone tweeters are online quite a bit more, as well. They spend an average of 23.8 hours online every week, which is also almost double the amount of their French-speaking non-Twitter counterparts.
It all adds up to an impressive gain in the number of hours Canadians spend online, and one has to assume a large part of those increased numbers for Twitter users is due to their increasingly social online lifestyles.
It's also safe to assume that most Twitter users have smartphones, which are constantly connected to data sources an the internet. That might explain why they more than double their usage as soon as they join the world's largest microblogging website.
Sixth in the World
Hot on the heels of these figures is the news that Canadians represent the sixth-largest group of Twitter users on the planet, when ranked by country. The numbers equate to roughly 18% of Canadians having a Twitter account -- or roughly 1 in 5 people from coast to coast.
That's an impressive number, and it looks to increase as Twitter expands its reach and prominence in the social networking marketplace. And the proliferation of smartphones will by no means diminish Canada's internet and tweeting addiction over the course of the next decade.