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In Mobile, Women Rule Social Networking

Based on data collected and analyzed using Google Ad Planner, I recently discovered that in Social Media, women rule. Across almost every major social network, the balance was revealing and in some cases, profound.

Facebook:
Male: 43%
Female: 57%

Delicious
Male: 48%
Female: 52%

Docstoc
Male: 41%
Female: 59%

Flickr
Male: 45%
Female: 55%

MySpace
Male: 36%
Female: 64%

Ning
Male: 41%
Female: 59%

Twitter
Male: 43%
Female: 57%

Upcoming.org
Male: 45%
Female: 55%

Ustream.tv
Male: 34%
Female: 66%

Yelp
Male: 43%
Female: 57%

Social Networks Go Mobile, Women Lead the Way

According to new reports, it appears that mobile counterparts paint a similar picture. Nielsen recently released data that shows that in mobile, women also dominate social networking.

At 55% women to 45% men, mobile social networking fortifies what we’re learning in social media in general.  Women also used their phones to tweet and friend 10% more than men.

Delving a bit deeper into social demographics, the 35-54 age group led the fray for active social networking via mobile devices followed closely by those 25-34.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated with mobile online access accelerating to match the broadband connectivity we expect on desktop and laptop PCs. As each day passes, smart phones, such as iPhones, BlackBerries, Palm, and Android devices replace the standard cell phone, introducing new capabilities and experiences to the masses. Whereas voice was the primary driver for mobile phones, dedicated apps and online destinations are augmenting and enhancing everyday user activity.

Social networks are now among the catalysts spurring mobile interaction and only continue to grow in prominence as a hub for attention, discovery, and communication.  Facebook recently announced that of its 400 million users, 100 million actively engage through mobile platforms.

In early March, comScore published a report that documented triple-digit growth in Facebook and Twitter mobile access. The study found that 30.8 percent of smartphone users accessed social networks via mobile browsers in January 2010, up 8.3% from 22.5% one year ago. Note that these numbers do not represent access to Twitter and Facebook via dedicated apps, which is currently estimated at an additional 6 million.

Perhaps most notably, access to Facebook via mobile grew 112% over the past year  and Twitter mobile usage soared by 347%. In January 2010, 25.1 million mobile users accessed Facebook and 4.7 million connected to Twitter via their mobile browser. MySpace saw a 7% drop in mobile access, however it still attracted 11.4 million users.

For those active in social networks on behalf of businesses, please keep in mind that without a mobile strategy as well as content and engagement programs aimed at specific demographics and psychographics, you may be missing essential touchpoints for true engagement and collaboration.

One size does not fit all and there is no market for generalized messages. In social media, whether it’s mobile, desktop, or laptop, opportunity clicks…

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362 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “In Mobile, Women Rule Social Networking”

  1. Thanks for the insights, Brian.
    Just one question : your figures are for US or for the world?

    Cheers.

    JN
    @jnchaintreuil
    http://www.jnchaintreuil.com/blog/

  2. Bill says:

    Not surprising. Women have always ruled social networks. They just moved online.

  3. Briena says:

    Loved this post! Obviously Bill is right, it's not surprising, however I was interested to see that the 35 – 54 age group utilizes mobile social networking more than the 25 – 34 age group. I was also a little surprised at how low the percentage was for 18 – 24 age group, in comparison. Now if only companies, and the rest of us marketers, would remember that most women make the purchasing decisions – paired with your information – then maybe more marketing campaigns would be female focused, as they should be in many cases.

  4. Though, you have to take into account the enormous number of bot programs and fake profiles used to lure men into clicking in virus' and spam sites. If there was any way to measure that number, it may be curious to see how much closer the two are.

  5. kenberger says:

    Re the age groups, Nielsen's assertion “And while social networking is commonly thought of as something for “the kids,” the 35-54 age group had more active mobile social networkers than any other group.” seems asinine, since it's based on a totally arbitrary and unbalanced age group distribution.

    35-54 is a 19 year span. 25-34 is 9 years. 18-24 is 6. Where did they come up w/ these? I get why maybe today's group of 19 year olds might not be weighted the same as today's 56 year olds, but they should at least explain why their count does not appear fair.

  6. Shanna says:

    This doesn't surprise me since women are more likely to be the better communicators when compared to men and social media is in general about communication and making connections.

  7. Thanks Brian. Always interesting stuff.

    As some of the other people who have commented have said, some of the data here seems a bit off. I don't question the end outcome, but agree that it depends on the sample size, how the sampling was done, and whether or not some of these have accounted for the bots, spammers, and fake female accounts.

    Everybody online loves a fancy chart or good infographic. Today we are all looking for the Tweetable nugget of knowledge. I'm no different than anyone else in that. However, we can't always trust the studies that we are reading. We have to question these more. I see reports that eMarketer and others will distribute that extrapolate the finding for all of marketing / communications professionals – but then look at the sample size of less then 300 nameless people that hopefully filled out a survey honestly online.

    I say this recalling a report from MySpace a few years ago excitedly talking about the user demographics and how they were aging. Then a few weeks later stories started to pop up talking about how girls and others were opening up their profiles as 99 years old so they could avoid being found by certain types of people trolling the social network.

    It's very obvious that in report after report that mobile access and usage is way on the rise. As smart phones are beginning to dominate sales, we are going to see this continue and I believe eventually replace many of the netbooks out there. I still believe people will need a more powerful machine for many things – or for some, just in comfort. Demographically speaking though, we need to also watch this rise in smartphone usage and anywhere access contribute to the digital divide that hasn't been discussed in a while (put that's just my personal observation).

    Another interesting piece we should think about is how these studies help us pinpoint our more granular markets of the people that we are trying to reach with our messages. Imagine in PR being able to more easily target a behavioral target like advertising can. This will be attained in the future, but it's going to be an interesting road toward getting there.

    I look forward reading more and debating more ahead.

    Michael Pranikoff

  8. rickbaucom says:

    Things that make you go hmmmmm….

    46.6% of the unmarried population aged 18 and older are male and 53.4% are female – U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), 2008. http://www.census.gov/cps/

  9. Don Crowther says:

    Great data – and the male/female difference is even bigger now than it was 6 months ago. I replicated your data today and found that the female/male ratio is significantly larger now.

    http://www.doncrowther.com/social-media-strateg

    Also, to those who are commenting on the potential for spammers to influence this, remember that this data is gathered from Google Ad Planner, which measures clickthroughs to sites, NOT site registrations. So people creating female twitter accounts to to spam through, and people claiming to be women on Facebook who really aren't conceivably wouldn't appear in this data.

    Thanks, Brian, for all you do!

  10. Thanks, Brian, invaluable. It's too easy to lose sight of the need for a specific mobile strategy when brands are already struggling to integrate social networks online. But the rewards are there for sure – especially with the purchasing power of women being predominant within networks. Thanks as ever, Simon

  11. ginevra says:

    Pity such data doesn't alter the 'too old to learn/tech. is only for men' perceptions… maybe it will, but I'd bet those perceptions will continue to lag the data by at least 10 years.

    Most comments so far aim to disprove the data, rather than consider the implications if it's true.

    By the way, I'm female & in the highest using age brackets. Observing my friends, the data is about right.

  12. bkjrecruiter says:

    GREAT article.. Not surprised because the botton line is… Some Men in Leadership roles have HUGE ego's and Women are in general are more nuturing/caring, and open to new things/change (SOCIAL MEDIA!)

    If I read these stats correctly…Women are going to be taking over BIG CORP… which is a breath of fresh air…. “FAT CATS” watch out!

    Best, Brian-

  13. bkjrecruiter says:

    GREAT article.. Not surprised because the botton line is… Some Men in Leadership roles have HUGE ego's and Women are in general are more nuturing/caring, and open to new things/change (SOCIAL MEDIA!)

    If I read these stats correctly…Women are going to be taking over BIG CORP… which is a breath of fresh air…. “FAT CATS” watch out!

    Best, Brian-

  14. Dara Bell says:

    The results are similar for the Uk. My networks are startingto offer free Twitter and free Facebook. Women using social network more than men perhaps a global phenonmenom. I think it interesting for advertiders of say Tampons or Womens Magazines will there TV commercials be consumed by male college students at 6.30. Will this advertising need to go online to reach women were they naturally congregiate. Will we have to restructure strategy, absulutely.

    I think it is interesting to hit Facebook at 6.30 it is like Social Media Prime Time. I think we will have to consider it like this too as marketers in the social web. I like your data about women using social mobile networking, but I must say the Nielson data on Age is little offputting as I thought the preponderance of usage was in the younger demogragics 13-17 and 18-24. Need to examine this further.

  15. Dara Bell says:

    The results are similar for the Uk. My networks are startingto offer free Twitter and free Facebook. Women using social network more than men perhaps a global phenonmenom. I think it interesting for advertiders of say Tampons or Womens Magazines will there TV commercials be consumed by male college students at 6.30. Will this advertising need to go online to reach women were they naturally congregiate. Will we have to restructure strategy, absulutely.

    I think it is interesting to hit Facebook at 6.30 it is like Social Media Prime Time. I think we will have to consider it like this too as marketers in the social web. I like your data about women using social mobile networking, but I must say the Nielson data on Age is little offputting as I thought the preponderance of usage was in the younger demogragics 13-17 and 18-24. Need to examine this further.

  16. nirzamir says:

    Brian, you are 100% right! Check out http://www.facebook.com/#!/EZChatApp?v=info&ref=ts
    and you can see that more women by far have responded to EZChat's location-based mobile social networking!
    Nir

  17. Thanks Brian, very powerful insight. And you're so right as woman we are very good communicators.

  18. Great data Brian. We are seeing a similar trend with the release this week of the New Zealand Privacy Commission report on personal data and social networking sites. 47% women to 39% men. Not a huge gap but interesting reading. http://www.privacy.org.nz/assets/Files/Surveys/

  19. briansolis says:

    Courtney, thank you for sharing! Definitely interesting…

  20. Pingback: Don Crowther
  21. Nice data, as usual, to support what I think we already knew. Women have always been more adept at socialization and communication.

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