Monday, March 31, 2008
Social-media gender gap: Research
Females increasingly rule the social Web, research by the people behind reputation lookup site RapLeaf.com found. According to a blog post by its CEO, "young women are much more active on these sites then young men. And for people above 30, men - especially married men - aren’t even joining social networks. With the notable exception of LinkedIn.com usage and VCs in the Bay Area friending everyone on Facebook, married men are not hanging out on social networks. Married women, however, are joining social networks in droves. In fact, women between the ages 35-50 are the fastest growing segment on social networks, especially on MySpace." They're not just socializing, though, they're also producing media (text, graphics, photos, etc.) and decorating profiles and pages. It's not that young men don't spend every bit as much time in front of a computer - sometimes more - but young men, he says, spend those hours more in "videogames such as World of Warcraft, first-person action games," and offshore poker sites, where they can actually win and lose money. As for seeking out the opposite sex: "Now young men understand that they can’t spend ALL their time playing video games (though some do) as they still need to interact with the opposite sex. Sex is one of the strongest drivers of online usage and many men see social networks as a gateway to potentially filling that desire. Men, in general, tend to look at things more transactionally than women. Once men get married, they see increasingly less value in being on a social network." The Pew/Internet project released similar findings last December (see "Boys & girls on Web 2.0" and "Teens rule the Web").