North American social network penetration is almost evenly spread across the continent, according to eMarketer's latest estimates of media usage in the US and Canada.
This year, 68.0% of internet users in Canada will visit social networking sites at least monthly, compared with 68.6% in the US—virtually identical. These penetration rates will continue to vary by, at most, 0.7 percentage point throughout the rest of eMarketer's forecast period.
Because the overall rate of internet penetration is slightly lower in Canada, these figures mean slightly fewer consumers in Canada overall will use social networks—at 53.0% of the population this year, vs. 54.1% of the US population. But these figures too will remain in a tight range through 2018.
Across the region, 88.4% of social network users will visit Facebook monthly this year. But penetration is nearly 5 points higher among social networkers in Canada—a small but persistent difference in Facebook's popularity across the border throughout our forecast period.
eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.
In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all of its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.
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