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article imageMore Women Online Than Men, Changing the Face of Web Culture

By David Silverberg     Mar 10, 2008 in Internet
Say goodbye to the stereotypical male Netizen. More women than men are online, according to several studies, and the rise of female Net culture will continue to escalate. How will the Web rules be rewritten in light of these wired women?
Digital Journal — Women are increasingly outnumbering men in Internet usage, and that trend is estimated to stay steady in the coming years. Several studies have found females — including teen girls — are also more likely to create blogs and build pages on social networks like MySpace and Facebook.
A study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that 74 per cent of all U.S. women are online. Another Pew study insists “girls continue to dominate most elements of content creation” — 35 per cent of U.S. teen girls blog, compared to 20 per cent of boys, and 54 per cent of online girls post photos online compared to 40 per cent of online boys. The stats shouldn’t come as a surprise to Net observers who track social engagement among teens, especially girls.
Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist at Pew, says: “New technology increases the overall intensity and frequency of their communication with friends, with email being the one glaringly uncool exception in their eyes.”
In 2007, eMarketer predicted there would be 97.2 million U.S. female Internet users aged 3 and older, or 51.7 per cent of the total online population. In 2011, the research firm predicts the number will jump to 109.7 million female Net surfers. The report also says in 2007 an estimated 66.2 per cent of U.S. females used the Internet at least once a month, compared with 64.2 per cent of males.
Looking at what females tend to enjoy online, the Pew study offers a few hints: “Older girls are more likely to search for information on health topics both mundane and sensitive, for spirituality or religious information, and for entertainment topics like favorite sports or movie stars or TV programs.”
Also, 38 per cent of all U.S. gamers are women, according to the Entertainment Software Association. The ESA adds: “In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31 per cent) than boys age 17 or younger (20 per cent).”
What does this mean for the future of Internet businesses, applications and marketing trends? As more women dive deep into the Web, more companies should be tailoring their Net innovations to female uses. No longer does the lonely-geek-guy-in-a-basement stereotype hold any water when describing a typical Web user; rather, women are looking to connect to each other and find information online in order to complement their offline activities.
Perceptive entrepreneurs would be wise to give women their due on the Web. There should be more online video sites creating niche categories for women, and more technology media coverage should include the female perspective. Also, at new media press conferences, few woman journalists attend, but that trend may also reverse as more female Netizens embrace the dot-com-osphere.
More about Internet, Demographic, Females, Women
 
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