Everyone knows that more women than men participate in social media. It’s where all those comments come from about women liking to “chat” more than men, so they take more naturally to social.
Wise cracks aside, there’s been endless speculation, from men being more socially isolated to women being more socially aggressive, about why there’s such a notable gap between the sexes on social.
On some sites, the difference is really incredible. The percentage of online women who use Pinterest is 500% greater than the percentage of online men who use the site.
But it looks like all the speculation may soon be unnecessary. Following a long period where the percentages of online women who used social were 20% to 35% greater than the percentages of online men, the gap has suddenly closed.
Men catch up with women on overall social media use http://t.co/QhayD2NU1G
— Stephen Da Cambra (@StephenDaCambra) September 9, 2015
According to a Pew Research Center Survey conducted between May, 2008 and May, 2013, the percentage of online men who use social actually decreased by 1% between August, 2011 and December, 2012, while the women’s percentages went up by 5% during the same time period.
But, in the 5 months following December, 2012, the share of men using social spiked by 8%, the largest jump in three years. In May, 2013, 70% of online men and 74% of online women used social, a difference that Pew does not consider statistically significant.
But women don’t dominate men in all social media. Despite the huge gap on Pinterest, men enjoy a slim lead (one percentage point) on Twitter and a four percentage point lead on Reddit.
Perhaps the most significant number to come out of Pew’s research? Five years ago, just 29% of online adults used social; today it’s 72%.