Tuesday, 7 July 2009

I Twitter. I Twat. I Will Tweet.

Interesting article from Double X, an American women's Web magazine, on studies into male and female use of social networking. Apparently men on Twitter have 15% more followers than women and both women and men are more likely to follow men.

The original study from Harvard Business School had some other interesting findings. Such as:
  • More women than men use Twitter
  • Men have more reciprocated relationships (i.e. follow backs)
  • Both men and women tweet at the same rate
  • Men are more likely to follow a man than a woman, and so are women but not by as much
  • The top 10% of users account for 90% of tweets
These results are quite different from other forms of social networking media where activity tends to be more women-focused and men are more likely to follow the content of women they do and do not know. The Study hypothesises that this is because of the different way that Twitter is used and that it lacks photo-sharing (interesting...).

The finding that Twitter is used in very different ways to other social networking sites certainly seems to ring true. I use Facebook and Twitter very differently; Twitter more like a web-log such as MetaFilter and I have a much stricter criteria for who I'm 'friends' with on Facebook and have a private profile there but not on Twitter.

The article suggests people do a gender audit of who they follow. Meh, I follow about 500 'people' but after taking a quick sample, I do indeed follow more men than women but nearly as many gender-neutral as men (News sites, green and human rights orgs, etc). This is *probably* because I follow a lot of nerds, techies, politicians and comedians all of which have a male over-representation. Right, I'm off to have a following cull and find more women to follow!

Oh, and if you want to follow me on Twitter: @naomimc

1 comment:

Jim Jay said...

This is interesting although twitter does have photo sharing with twit pic thing - which I don't use.

Twitter is very much like facebook status updates but you don't have to see all the stupid tests people have taken, or get told to be a pirate - so in many ways is better.

Sadly it's also quite linear so with as status update people can comment on each update directly but with twitter it's just one long stream which does not encourage group conversations... whether that's a factor or not though I've no idea.