The Gender Gap in Social Networking

It is no secret that the whole social networking phenomenon got started with the younger generation. However, there is a distinct gender gap as its acceptance has grown to become more mainstream. 

Rapleaf has done a study of 13.2 million people to see how they were using social media. While the trends indicate both sexes are using social media in huge numbers, their findings show that women far outpace men. Usually men tend to be early adopters of technology but when it comes to social networking, women are way ahead of the men.

The study found that among twenty-somethings, women and men are just as likely to be members of social networks. Facebook, MySpace, and Flixster are very popular. However, they found that young women are much more active on these sites than young men. In addition, men above 30—especially married men—aren't even joining social networks. With the notable exceptions of LinkedIn users and venture capitalists 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 ages 35 and 50 are the fastest-growing segment, especially on MySpace.

You can read the sepcial report on Busineesweek's site. Get complete statistics of the study from Rapleaf's blog.

Because of this trend, the next wave of innovation is likely to target women more than men. The gender gap will only widen and not narrow in the future. Need more proof? Here's a list of 50 of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Social Media. It created quite a stir when it was first posted. Ron Hudson, who published the list, has now compiled one for 50 Most Powerful and Influential Men in Social Media.

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