We suggested that they keep the fuzzy tails. ;)
Chris had brought to my attention the most recent Facebook statistics on user age and gender. These stats are fascinating in showing Facebook’s mere impact on the general public, but even more when you translate the numerical findings to other studies.
Using Facebook essentially requires much less writing than blogging and more than tweeting. However, the most significant distinction of Facebook is its “tagging” feature, which puts personal photographs high on the totem pole in user appeal.
With this in mind as I read through the information I actually noticed a few parallels with what I have blogged about in the past regarding social media networks and gender. I realized that even though the general study shows that males recently increased their numbers more than females, females still use Facebook more across all age groups.
The study from Inside Facebook cited that females and males 18-25 increased in number by nearly 1 million last month. The article goes on to say that the “increases in males 35-44 were lower [than females 35-44].” Not only was the increase of males ages 35-44 on Facebook smaller than that of females, but the overall number of males in this age range is over 2 million less than females. Moreover, the chart of overall current Facebook users shows that females beat out males on Facebook in every age category from 13-65—representing 57% of the Facebook audience.
In my last article, “Millennial Moms: The Most Connected & Technology Dependent Population,” I noted that gender may have a huge role in social media use. These Millennials, designated as 13 to 32-year-olds (born between 1977 and 1996), were the first to grow up using mainstream technology. Mothers in this age range have shown significant interest in using social media over males of the same age.
Now that I have thrown out the numbers I can tell you why I believe they exist. It’s possibly due to the female gender, stereotypical or not, that tends to crave a sense of belonging and friendship. Perhaps I am looking too deep into Facebook, a place where you can send virtual Jager Bombs, sacrifice a friend for a Whopper, poke people and of course add the essential “Don’t F**k w/ Chuck” application dedicated to Chuck Norris jokes. However, women in their 30s are usually living on their own or married with children and may not have the social life or friend circle they once had. This need is easily fulfilled through something like Facebook that allows them to stay connected while maintaining their current lives.
I do like to pull in my own experience when analyzing social media–as a college student I’ve convinced myself I have the right credentials. I briefly asked several acquaintances around age 20 both male and female about their Facebook use. I found that most of their moms were on Facebook and none of their dads. I also found that the girls visit their Facebook pages much more frequently than the boys and also that the girls had over 500 (yes, 500) more pictures displayed on average than the boys do. Both the chicks and dudes said they use Facebook to stay in touch with friends who live both far away and close, but the dudes expressed less importance in this feature.
My makeshift study is far from scientific, but it certainly refuels my own theory that females want a sense of community more than males—which is why they seems to enjoy Facebook more than males. Getting “tagged” in a picture or sharing pictures with others allows them to stay in touch. And, for a lack of better explanation, pictures show other Facebookers that they have friends, or are a part of a community.
The same attitude carries over from college-age women to those 30-50. Mommy bloggers are more prominent than ever. They love to share pictures, stories, and advice with other women on a daily basis, which Facebook allows for.
Although the statistics of overall growth rates show that males have had bigger increases in users across the board except for 35-44, I still believe female Facebook users will continue to surpass males. I’ll soon analyze the marketing aspect of these statistics that centers around the age demographic.
Mark and the BD team over at Abraham Harrison do a pretty good job of collecting the thoughts of what we do at my firm. I just discovered that Slideshare not only hosts and serves powerpoint presentation decks but also allows one to upload, share, and embed documents as well, so here’s our Abraham Harrison Description of Services PDF that the sales team loves to send around, embedded. Cool, right?