Women Make More Friends On Social NetworksBy: Doug Caverly - May 5, 2008
When it comes to social networks, a new study shows that men are more likely than women to downplay the first part of the term. Women, according to Rapleaf, tend to have deeper relationships and a greater number of friends.
Roughly 80 percent of the people Rapleaf studied had between one and 100 online friends. In this segment, women had an average of 62 pals, while men had five fewer. Moving up to the 100-1,000 friend range, the difference remained similar, with women averaging 185 friends and men 172 connections.
The Rapleaf report states, "While we theorize that women spend more time on social networks, building and nurturing relationships, we also theorize that men are less likely to spend as much time nurturing relationships as they are acquiring relationships from a transactional standpoint. Spending less time on a social network but transacting more equates to having roughly the same number of friends as women, who spend more time on social networks, but are busier sustaining relationships."
It’s only when looking at people with more than 1,000 friends that men took the (slight) lead. Look for serious businesspeople, musicians, and celebrities in this category; the average person doesn’t have so large an address book.
Rapleaf studied 30.74 million people with at least one online friend, and included networks like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Friendster, Hi5, and LiveJournal, so its results are hard to dispute. Marketers (and individuals) may come to value online contact with women a little more as a result.