In the words of Martina McBride, “This One’s For The Girls.” Don’t look now, but women have taken over social media channels. Females spend more time than males on social media sites. They also contribute more, use mobile social networking more and they buy more stuff online than men do. A new survey released this week by the Pew Internet and American Life Project corroborates numerous other studies that show women dominating social media websites. This is particularly the case with Facebook and Twitter usage. The Pew survey found that more women than men use Facebook and Twitter regularly. They perform Facebook status and profile updates more regularly, comment more, add more photos and click the Like button more than men. If it were not for the constant feminine energy fueling Facebook on a daily basis, the site would be dead.
Participation in Social Network Sites Nearly Doubled and Majority are Women
The comprehensive telephone Pew survey of about 2,000 Americans found that the use of social media by Americans nearly doubled from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, only twenty-six percent of all adults and thirty-four percent of Internet users used social media. Just two-years later, forty-seven percent of all adults use social media and fifty-nine percent of Internet users now regularly frequent at least one site. Not only are more people than ever before using Facebook and other networking sites, they are also older. The average age used to be thirty-three, now it’s thirty-eight. And the social Web is now ruled by estrogen. Women make up over half of all social media users at fifty-six percent, and they hold sway over emailing, instant messaging, blogging and photo sharing, as well.
Men are just not that into social media anymore, apparently. In 2008, forty-seven percent of social networking site users were men. Two years later, that rate has dropped to forty-four percent, but the rate of female users has grown. Linkedin is the only social networking site that draws more male users, according to the survey.
Facebook Would be a Virtual Ghost Town Without Women
Mark Zuckerberg owes women big time. The Pew survey revealed that women do all the heavy lifting on Facebook and men just sit back and watch the show. Fifty-eight percent of all Facebook users are women compared to only forty-three percent men. Women do most of the status updating, at eighteen percent vs. eleven percent. Overall, both sexes have become lazy. Status and profile updates are performed much less often than in the past. Now, Facebookers spend most of their time commenting on other members’ photos and hitting the Like button. However, women still do more of it than men. Sixteen percent of female Facebook users comment on posts several times a day compared to only eight percent of men.
In addition, thirteen percent of women vs. four percent of men comment on Facebook photos several times a day. The same goes for the Like button: twenty percent of the girls hit Like throughout the day, but only nine percent of the guys can summon the energy.
Watch Out Guys, The Girls Are Killing Us on Twitter Too
Girls are also flocking to the micro-blogging site Twitter. Facebook still rules the social networking universe, but Twitter is gaining more ground in the U.S. Most of these new Twitter users are women. The divide between men and women is greater. The Pew survey found that sixty-four percent of all Twitter users are women compared to only thirty-six percent men. This disparity is simply astounding.
How can the feminization of Twitter and Facebook be explained? One can speculate using generalizations – women can be more chatty and social than men, women tend to share more of their personal lives, and so on. Beyond generalizations, it’s hard to pinpoint. Social media marketers should take notice.