TikTok is the most popular social app with Canada’s youth

The first "MTM Jr." report also finds that messaging and interacting with content (instead of creating their own) are the big draws for young people.

Three-quarters of young Canadians are regular social media users, according to a new poll of Canadians under 18.

MTM’s first “MTM Jr.” research – which polled¬†1,622 households – shows that 74% of Canadian kids aged seven to 17 have used social media in the last month, with girls more likely to use it than boys (80% vs. 68%). The number, however, dips to 58% when looking just at seven to 11 years olds, who are more likely to have content and time controls on their social media platforms, with it rising to 87% for teens.

Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Facebook are the most popular platforms. Popularity does differ compared to adults: while 88% of Canadian adults use Facebook, according to previous MTM research, only 31% of those under 18 use it regularly. On the flip side, 22% of adults use TikTok, compared to 44% of those under 18 (55% when looking just at teens). Instagram is the closest to parity between the two groups, though a gap still exists: it is used by 51% of Canadians 18-plus and 41% of Canadians seven to 17.

TikTok is also the only platform more popular among Francophone social networkers than it is among Anglophones social networkers (55% vs. 41%).

Across all platforms, younger users tend to use social media at least once a day, with 58% of teens using two or more platforms. TikTok leads the pack in terms of frequency, with 77% of young Canadians visiting at least once a day.

Girls are more likely to be messaging (74% vs. 62%) and creating their own content (42% vs. 29%) compared to boys.¬†Despite Snapchat’s Discover and Spotlight sections, Snapchat users are more likely to use the platform for messaging (73%).

Snapchat and Instagram users are the top content creators, posting more photos and videos online. Kids are more inclined to like or react to other peoples’ posts on Instagram than to share their own content and are more likely to follow brands and social media influencers on Instagram than any other social media platform.

Kids are also more inclined to watch other peoples’ videos than to share theirs. TikTok’s auto play functionality, where content instantly plays as soon as users open the app, makes it very easy to watch an endless supply of content.

Outside of social media, MTM also looked at the top ways Canadian teenagers discover new content to consume. Personal influence is the biggest driver, with 70% finding new content through recommendations from parents and friends. Close behind at 67% is what MTM calls “digital influence,” such as YouTube playlists or Netflix’s algorithmically determined suggestions. Just over half of teens discover content through “traditional influence,” such as trailers or broadcast commercials.