Canada Social Media 2021

Popular Platforms, the Ad Market, and the Rise of Social Commerce

About This Report
Social media usage, advertising, and commerce will reach new levels in 2021, presenting big opportunities for brands to engage consumers.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

In 2020, social media usage reached new heights across all platforms that we track in Canada. This growing base of users adds fuel to social media advertising, which will account for the majority of display ad investment this year. Tools for commerce have also advanced in the past 12 months, making social media a key discovery channel for retailers and allowing buyers to advance through the purchase funnel more readily.

How has social media usage changed in Canada?

The pandemic drove social media usage to new heights in 2020, a pattern that we expect will have a lasting effect on our forecasts for years to come. Most usage is on smartphones.

What platforms have the most usage?

Facebook still reigns, but Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat all have sizable user bases in Canada. Pinterest, TikTok, and reddit have gained traction as well.

How has the social ad market developed?

Social makes up the majority of digital display advertising in Canada, driven by programmatic automation and the popularity of mobile and video formats.

What’s the state of social commerce?

Our new forecast for social buyers shows a growing base of digital consumers who use social networks to shop. But in-app checkout is still not a reality in Canada on the major social platforms.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers eMarketer’s latest forecasts for social media usage in Canada, key advertising trends, and social commerce features now available to retailers and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands.

KEY STAT: Facebook will maintain the top position for social media usage in Canada, with 21.1 million monthly users this year.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

13expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. Social Media Users in Canada: 5 Essential Stats from Our Forecasts
    3. Greater Diversity of Platforms
    4. Social Advertising
    1. Social Commerce
    2. Key Takeaways
    3. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    4. Read Next
    1. Sources
    2. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Arak Bhokanandh
    Vice President, Digital
    Interviewed February 3, 2021
    Joshua Bloom
    General Manager, Global Business Solutions, Canada
    Interviewed February 5, 2021
    Sonia Carreno
    IAB Canada
    Interviewed February 4, 2021
    Lauren Dineen-Duarte
    American Express
    Director, Public Affairs and Communications
    Interviewed February 4, 2021
    Youri Hollier
    Tim Hortons
    Director, Digital and Social Media
    Interviewed January 28, 2021
    Frederick Lecoq
    Sporting Life Group
    Interviewed February 2, 2021
    Matt McGowan
    Director and General Manager, Canada
    Interviewed January 18, 2021
    Lola Oyelayo-Pearson
    Director, UX, Money and Channels
    Interviewed January 28, 2021
    Brooke Robinson
    Vice President, Performance Marketing
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Marius Ronnov
    Interviewed February 2, 2021
    Vinay Sharma
    Director, Performance Marketing
    Interviewed February 2, 2021
    Dwayne Winseck
    Canadian Media Concentration Research Project
    Interviewed December 14, 2020
    Jamie Michaels
    Head of Brand Strategy, Canada
    Interviewed January 12, 2021


    Paul Briggs


    Jasmine Enberg
    Senior Analyst
    Jeremy Goldman
    Principal Analyst
    Angela Kim
    Senior Researcher
    Already have a subscription?Sign In

    Access All Charts and Data

    Gain access to reliable data presented in clear and intelligible displays for quick understanding and decision making on the most important topics related to your industry

    Become a Client