Alright before my West Coast Vancouverites (who I love dearly) accuse me of being a T.dot homer or my Montrealites (je t'aime beaucoup) start calling me a wannabe New Yorker with visions of grandeur, hear me out on this one.
Ahem (clearing throat)... Toronto, our beloved city, sometimes sufferer of inferiority complex and four decades of hockey disappointment, loser of two Olympic bids and a consolation prize of a B-listing World Expo....is (drum roll) The Social Media Capital of North America and Facebook Capital of the World.
Now I don't have all the historical stats but something of a "tipping point" happened in Toronto over the last few months that has caused Toronto to be virtually swathed in Facebook. If you haven't been invited to join yet, you have your answer.
Look at these eye-popping stats on Facebook membership numbers:
Agent Wildfire's Analysis of Facebook Numbers by Census Area (April, 2007)
|City||Facebook Members (as of April 17, 2007)||Population (k)||Facebook Members Per K Capita|
|Sources: * April 2007 - Facebook, 2006 Statscan Census est., 2006 pro. U.S. Census, 2007 Wikipedia|
This is the "off the scales" type of stuff; essentially one in ten Torontonians are Facebookers. Walk through that subway car, I guarantee you you'll find at least eight Facebook friends. Head down to the Air Canada Centre for a Raptor game, chances are you'll find close to 2,000 people ready to join your Facebook group...go to The Drake, I guarantee you another 50 ... and its spreading like wildfire.
No U.S. city comes close to Toronto's Facebook dominance. Although varying definitions of census areas may explain some of the difference, Toronto's stats are charttoppers by any definition and Canadian cities fare exceptionally well across the board.
In fact, Haligonians could claim #1 status in the world easily if we include our definition of cities below 1 million, but we won't because that would make my argument a bit messy (kudos to my easy coast cousins nonetheless, a remarkable small city achievement - hopefully we can grab a pint to celebrate at the Lower Deck).
What's the "smoking gun" linked to Toronto's frenzy for Facebook?
- We have a large university educated population?
- We have a large creative class of knowledge workers who hang out on the net too often for proiductive living (true according to Ipsos).
- We are worldly, social people who seek out online social networks more than any other country (true according to comScore).
- We are connected online more than any other country (true according to Ipsos).
- We distrust central authority and like to receive our info and social exchanges from other people not broadcast media (true, according to Environics and Mood and Mindset).
- We live inside during 1/2 the year and either watch hockey or social network (true according to the flurries I saw the other day)?
- We have a large ethnic population who seeks out tribes of similar interest? (according to Canadian Geographic, 42% of Toronto's population is foreign-born)
- Gays and lesbians like to socialize online? (Toronto is recognized as a centre for gay and lesbian culture and one of largest and craziest Pride parades anywhere in the world)
- My Space did a really crappy job in Canada?
- We support underdogs? (Facebook only represents 10% of North America social media traffic vs. My Space's 80+%)
- 5% alcohol Canadian beer is making us behave differently than 4% alcohol U.S. beer? (true according to my last few St. Patrick's days)
- the CN Tower is jamming alternative social network signals to our neighbourhoods? (it's possible, right?)
- I don't know, but somehow Mike Myers, Karim Rashid, Rachel McAdam and Neil Young are involved
What do you think?
Any way you slice it, these numbers are a revelation to me of Einstein-ian proportions and begs some serious discussion and with data-supported bravado to our other cousin metros, allows our very own Hogtown to claim Uber Social Media Capital status in North America.
and for Torontoians.... I now officially proclaim, if you have not joined Facebook by the April 22, 2007 and live in Toronto, you are offically part of the mainstream, well on your way to dancing the Macarena, listening to Barry Manilow and still wondering why the old Canadian Tire spokesguy isn't on TV anymore.
By the way, in the time it took me to write this article, 71 more Torontonians have joined. It's spreading, are you ready to join this cult! If you are, drop by my profile and become my Facebook friend, won't you :)