The ever-increasing take-up of a wide range of social media continues to make the headlines, and one of the stories is that there has long been a gender gap when it comes to users of the networks.
Now, a new Pew Research Center analysis has found that differences in gender are becoming so small as to be rendered statistically insignificant.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts data-driven social science research such as public opinion polling, demographic research and content analysis.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 80% of women use one of the range of social networking sites compared to 73% of men. Only five years ago, the respective figures were 68% and 53%, a significant gap of 15 points.
The organisation said of its new report: “Although the overall percentage of men and women who report using social media is now comparable, there are still some gender differences on specific platforms. Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram have a larger female user base, while online discussion forums like Reddit, Digg or Slashdot attract a greater share of male users. Gender differences on Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn are not significant.”
Different social sites
Facebook and Instagram are more popular with women than men, and Pinterest has a 44% to 16% female-oriented user split.
Link-based forum sites such as Reddit, Digg and Slashdot are the only social media sites where men outnumber women.
However, overall gender differences on Twitter and Tumblr are so small as to be not significant in terms of data analysis.
Of course, “social” media covers a wide range of applications these days, and the gender gap for professionals wanting to share work-related information and activities on LinkedIn has narrowed considerably.
There has been a marked increase in women joining the platform since 2010, when they made up only 12% of those using the service.
Today, the professional networking site has an almost equal proportion of internet-using men and women, 26% and 25% respectively, taking advantage of what the site has to offer.