Last week we reported on women’s role in the ever-changing field of social media, and a recent report by comScore provides quantifiable evidence that women are making their presence felt through myriad social networks. “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet” is a comprehensive report with statistics on social media usage, search activity and online shopping, among others.
Men have traditionally been the primary internet users, but women are now responsible for the lion’s share of internet usage, a trend which many attribute to the rise of social media. According to the report, over three-quarters of women visited social media sites during May, compared to less then 70 percent of men. And the trend holds true across all countries, not just the US. In Japan, South Korea and even Russia, women are the ones dominating social media sites. On average, women spend 30 percent, or 1.5 hours, more per month on social networks than their male counterparts.
As we discussed in our previous post, women tend to be innovators when it comes to communication, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have embraced this new wave of social interaction. What is a little surprising is how old many of the users are. According to comScore, the over-45 demographic is the group primarily responsible for the rapid growth of social networking.
But it isn’t just social media sites where women are making their presence felt. In virtually every realm of the internet—with sports and automotives being two of the exceptions—women are dominant.
“That women now drive a solid majority of internet usage represents a significant change in behavior from the early days of the internet,” said Andrew Lipsman, an analyst for comScore.
Many of the findings in the report contradicted conventional wisdom, particularly when it comes to online shopping habits. Men and women frequent online retailers with about the same regularity, but women spend more time on those sites, which equates to more sales.
“There is perhaps a misconception that women prefer to do more of their shopping in-store while men prefer the instant gratification of online shopping, but in fact that’s simply not the case,” Lipsman said.
comScore created the report by studying 2 million “opt-in Internet users who allow us to passively observe their online behavior.”