If we compare women’s to men's online usage it's clear that women use far more time on social media.
Share of time spent on social activities:
It's the same all over the world. It doesn't matter which region, women consistently engage in more social activities online than men. Without exception. In U.S.A. nearly 56 per cent of adult women say they go online to stay in touch, compared to 46 per cent of adult men. On a global scale, social activities like social networking, instant messaging and e-mails are the no.1 reason for women to go online.
In Latin America women spend up to 52 per cent of their total time online on social activities. Their most preferred activity is instant messaging (24 per cent) followed by the social networking (18 per cent) and e-mails (10 per cent). However, women in Asia Pacific only spend about 20 per cent of their total time online on these activities.
Adults' share of time spent on social networking, instant messaging and e-mail (% of total minutes):
Globally, women spend an average of 16.3 per cent of their online time on social networks (April 2010) compared to only 11.7 per cent for the men. The time spent on social networks has been increasing over the past year and shows the growing importance of social networking to women’s online experience.
You might not realize it but it's women above 45 years who are behind the greatest proportion of growth for social networking sites at the moment, in terms of both visits and time spent on the sites. They have similar reach and usage as the women 25-34 and 35-44. It is the users between the age of 15-24 who have the highest reach and the heaviest usage. However, all groups are spending a significant amount of their total online time on social activities.
Globally, Facebook is still the most popular social network but regional social networks have great appeal eg Mixi (Japan,) Vkontakte (Russia), StudiVZ (Germany), CyWorld (South Korea).
This trend has important implications for all e-commerce sites. If you can give your female customer an element of social networking, you will have an advantage. And actually you can: It's called Social Commerce. Read my blog post about Social Commerce and make your site more appealing to women.
Download the whitepaper from ComScore: Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Web.