(Reuters) — Maybe it's all those Justin Bieber fans: Canadians log more time on the Web and social media, including Facebook and YouTube, than any other nation.
The measurement company comScore reported Canada has the highest penetration of Internet access, with around 68 per cent of Canadians routinely surfing online, against 62 per cent in France and Britain. Close behind is 60 per cent of Germans going online and, south of the border, 59 per cent of Americans.
The laggards are Italians, where only 36 per cent of the population goes online, according to comScore.
Web-addicted Canadians now spend an average 42 hours a month surfing the Web, up from 40 hours in 2009, and view an average 147 videos a month on YouTube and other online video websites.
And around 17 million Canadians, or 51 per cent of the population, have Facebook accounts. Canada has a vibrant Twitterverse, with an estimated five per cent of the traffic routinely following the world domination of homegrown pop idol Justin Bieber.
Despite Canada's broadband connectivity, Canadians still lag Americans in their embrace of so-called "smart TV." Netflix is only a recent entrant into the Canadian market, while Google TV and Apple TV have yet to break through north of the border.
The delay is due in part to the country's TV watchdog debating whether to regulate the Internet as major cable and phone carriers steadily buy up major TV networks -- Shaw Communications purchasing Canwest Global Communications Corp., Rogers Communications picking up Citytv and Bell Canada acquiring CTV -- to offer TV to Canadians across multiple digital platforms before American behemoths establish themselves here.