For reasons that are not altogether clear, women now trumps men in their use of social media as a communication tool, according to a new research from Harris Interactive made on behalf of mobile VOIP provider Rebtel, the world’s largest independent mobile VoIP company.
The recent survey (conducted across 2,361 U.S. adults ages 18 and up) examined three key metrics related to social media and voice/phone consumption, specifically: Expected frequency of use of social media communication methods in the near future, social media consumption habits of online U.S. adults when communicating with certain people and popularity of social media communication among online U.S. adults if they could only choose one method to communicate with certain people.
Among online adults, 68% of women now communicate via social media, compared to 54% of men in the United States. By Harris Interactive's findings, that translates to roughly 75 million women who communicate with friends using social networks versus 57 million men.
"Our research findings show that men tend to lag behind women when it comes to communicating with others through social media, which debunks other recent studies that indicate that men are more savvy networkers between the sexes," explained Andreas Bernstrom, CEO of Rebtel.
Among those online adults who use social media such as Facebook or Google Plus to communicate, 1 out of 5 or 19% expect to use social media more in the near future to communicate with these groups, representative of some 27 million American adults. Of this group men, 23% are significantly more likely to indicate this than the women at 16%.
That said, related results show that 11% expect to use social media less in the near future to communicate, while 70% expect to use social media the same amount in the near future to communicate with these groups, with women 74% being significantly more likely to indicate this than men, at 65%.
Specifically, among the 93% of the U.S. online adult population that communicates with family members other than in-person, 60% of women communicate with family through social media, compared to just 42% of men. That equals to about 67 million women communicating with family via social media versus only 44 million men.
Evan among the 58% of the online adult population in the U.S. that communicate with work colleagues other than in-person, 34% of women, as oppose to 22% of men, use this method to stay in touch. According to Harris Interactive, that comes out to 21 million women who communicate with work colleagues compared to 16 million men.
The study shows that women, in general, tend to trump men when it comes to media consumption and communication online. When given the choice to pick one communication method to stay in touch with friends (other than in-person), 18% of women, compared to 12% of men, choose social media.
There is one area, however, where men actually do manage to take a short lead, and that is with voice/telephone communication. Men are now slightly more likely to use phones to communicate: 75% versus 73% of women.
This study doesn’t fully conclude that there are more women than men actually using social media overall. Rather, it communicates a preference among the two opposites for what medium they choose to communicate through and who they choose to do that communicating with.