How Women are Shaping the Internet

This article was first published on Penn Olson on 16.08.2010

Globally, women make up nearly 46 percent of the web population – despite being the minority, it is interesting to note that they are dominating many aspects of the digital media landscape.

Trends are showing that women have caught up in the usage of internet ranging from activities like purchasing online, social networking, instant messaging (IM) and it appears that the online experience of women sway towards communicating and building relationships with others.

Comscore released a whitepaper compiling a study about digital behaviors of women across the globe against men in 40 countries.

Topping the charts, we have

Social media
Instant messaging
Globally in April 2010, women spent an average of 16.3% of their online time on social networks, compared to only 11.7% for the men. The numbers were highest among women in North America, with 9 out of 10 female Internet users visiting a social network site in that month.

The below chart shows how the most popular activities skew comparably toward women in terms of reach and usage.

And what are they searching for? The results are not surprising.
Fragrances/Cosmetics, e-cards, Flowers, Gifts and Greetings and Pets are topics most frequented by women.

Other takeaways include:

Men are far more likely to post their own tweets than women. Meanwhile, a larger percentage of female Twitter users say they use the site to find deals/promotions and use the service as a conversation medium and to follow celebrities.
Contrary to common beliefs, women spent 2.7% gaming compared to men at 2.2%; the games are more casual (e.g. Solitaire, Sudoku and Scrabble) than action, adventure, and sports games, which are typically favored by young males.
Overall video usage is the heaviest in Germany, the U.K., the U.S., and Canada.
On average, men conduct more searches per searcher than women (71.6 searches per searcher for men vs. 64.0 for women).
The gender differences in mobile Internet behavior roughly mirror PC Internet behavior. Older women are more likely to play games and check email, and men more likely to access News/Info sites using their mobile phone. However, mobile Internet services (browsing, apps, and email) still skew 65-70 percent male.
Women surpass men in every age group in both reach and time spent on photo sites. They were also much faster to adopt photo sharing when it first became available.
There is no significant gender gap in Internet usage as more and more women across the world are increasing their Internet usage everyday. This brings about so many opportunities to market products to women of different ages and cultures through social networking channels.

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