Social Networking’s Gender Gap

Posted on 26th Jul 2012 by Sylvia O'Hagan in Blog

When it comes to social networking practices and preferences, the gender gap is alive, well…and huge it seems. A recent infographic by data journalist and information journalist David McCandless noted stats on how men and women differ as to the sites they like to frequent more, i.e. 62% of Twitter users and 58% of Facebook users are female.

Of Pinterest, the site we have all been talking about as it gains in momentum by leaps and bounds (104 million users since 2010), McCandless reported that 72% of its users are female, though a recent CNN.com article: “Pinterest Not Manly Enough for You, Try These Sites Bro”, put that number closer to 83%, per a study by Visual.ly.

The CNN.com article explored some recent, 6 months young and less, start-ups that are hoping to translate the astounding success of Pinterest to something with more of a testosterone twist. Several new sites follow the pinning, commenting, trending formula, but with content and attitude catering to men.

Dudepin, with the tag line “man up, sign up, pin up” notes its raison de etre as “we wanted to create a community of awesomeness… this is a web site where people can share sweet male oriented content with friends. Trending pins were a fridge super stocked with beers and a 6 car garage with some great rides.

Manteristing says it is “dedicated to bringing you the most interesting and relevant images on the internet that highlight awesome man stuff”, which seems to include a lot of images of bikini babes, funny sayings and man heroes like Chuck Norris.

Punchpin offers guys the opportunity to view, share and comment on “cool stuff for guys”, which includes a list of manly pursuits like “funny cra@p”, “gadgets”, “chicks”, even “man caves” and “grilling”.

DartitUp is similar to the above, with the declaration that “Women are from Pinterest, men are from DartitUp” as analyzed in their infographic.

As for brand building opportunities on these new sites, the jury is still out as the “male pin site” concept is new and not widely explored. It may take off, however, given the popularity and eagerness of seemingly both sexes to engage in image sharing; though the image content and interest varies greatly. And, given the known psychological fact that men are very visual by nature, it can be argued that these sights might be ideal for male market aimed brands.

Case in point, on DartitUp.com, there is currently a SlimJim campaign which centers around challenges for best images… i.e. “what is the item every man cave needs, cupcake platters and throw pillows need not apply.” I would caution these sites, however, that they might want to tone down the overtly stereotypical machismo messaging of these sites, less they alienate a large portion of the men out there who, hopefully, are not all about babes, beer and cars.

Commenting on the CNN.com article one gentleman weighed in with a thought that might serve as cautionary thought: “I'm 57, male, heterosexual. So I go to the sites listed in this article and the first things I see are soft porn, violence and plenty of four letter words. One site has a pin that says, "Call me maybe - so I can kill you… I'll stick with Pinterest thank you.”

This blog was originally posted on www.movablecontent.com, Contributor, Sylvia O'Hagan: www.sylviohagan.com.

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