Social media’s impact on Kelowna City Hall continues to grow

City plugs into use of Instagram to reach out to taxpayers on their smartphones.

  • Oct. 29, 2013 8:00 p.m.
Social media's impact on Kelowna City Hall continues to grow

With the growing popularity of the City of Kelowna’s Twitter and Facebook social media channels, the City now offers another way to connect with what’s happening around the City – Instagram.

Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that lets users to share their pictures and videos with followers. Instagram has grown rapidly in popularity since its launch in 2010, with more than 100 million active users today.

“We have seen a huge jump in residents accessing information about the city from mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets,” says Tom Wilson, communications supervisor at the city. “Instagram is another great way to reach our residents where they are at, which is on the go and on their phones.”

One of the first cities in Canada to use Instagram to connect with residents, the City of Kelowna created its account in August to gauge interest from residents about connecting using a photo-based platform. The uptake has been quick, and the City now has more than 150 Instagram followers, with the audience continuing to grow every day.

“We’ve noticed the tone of feedback we’re receiving on Instagram is very positive,” says Wilson. “On our other channels we get all sorts of comments, but Instagram is a place to share good news stories and it develops an audience that seems to appreciate that.”

The City of Kelowna Instagram account shares photos of various events happening around the city, from the launch of the new public pier, to Volunteer Week, to the revitalization happening on Bernard Avenue.

The city strives to keep residents up-to-date on all the issues that affect the community and there are multiple channels through to connect, get information, and provide feedback. Discover all the ways to stay informed at

A Stats Canada report released Monday shows Kelowna residents to be proficient users of online technology.

The Census Metropolitan Areas with the highest rates of Internet use were Kelowna (93 per cent), Regina (90 per cent), and Victoria (90 per cent). Other major metropolitan areas such as Calgary (89 per cent) Vancouver (88 per cent), Toronto (88 per cent) and Montréal (84 per cent) all had rates of Internet use above the national average.

To access the City’s Instagram account, search for “City of Kelowna” in the user search, or visit

City of Kelowna social media by the numbers:

·    1,114 Facebook fans

·  8,342 Twitter followers

·   2,747 tweets sent since the launch of the City of Kelowna Twitter account in 2009

·   151 Instagram followers


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