Men Rule on Twitter

By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

twitterman

A Harvard Business School study on Twitter usage reveals some interesting patterns with respect to men and women.

First of all, there are slightly more women than men on Twitter – 55% to 45%. However, men have 15% more followers than women. And moreover, men are twice as likely to follow another male user than a female user – and women are 25% more likely to follow men as well. Strangely enough, this data cannot be explained by tweeting activity, as men and women tweet at basically the same rates.

Additionally, this is apparently very different than what happens on most social networks, where activity is usually focused around women.  For example, men tend to follow women they don’t know, women follow women they do know, and men get left out in the cold.

The folks who conducted the study have a theory as to why men may have the advantage on Twitter:

We wonder to what extent this pattern of results arises because men and women find the content produced by other men on Twitter more compelling than on a typical social network, and men find the content produced by women less compelling (because of a lack of photo sharing, detailed biographies, etc.).

Curiouser and curiouser. Assuming that this data is actually an accurate representation of the Twitterverse, I’m pretty stumped as to how the content produced by men and women might really differ. Have any of you Twitterers out there noticed any differences in that regard?

[Image Source: Flickr (CC)]

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10 Responses to Men Rule on Twitter

  1. It's likely because there are no images involved… if men are followed on any network it's likely because of what they say, if women are followed on other networks, its likely a combination of what they say and whether they have cool pictures…

    I don't mean to completely over generalize, but I think pictures are likely a part of this trend/phenomina. The short and terse nature of twitter posts may also be a driver.

  2. It’s likely because there are no images involved… if men are followed on any network it’s likely because of what they say, if women are followed on other networks, its likely a combination of what they say and whether they have cool pictures…

    I don’t mean to completely over generalize, but I think pictures are likely a part of this trend/phenomina. The short and terse nature of twitter posts may also be a driver.

  3. It’s likely because there are no images involved… if men are followed on any network it’s likely because of what they say, if women are followed on other networks, its likely a combination of what they say and whether they have cool pictures…

    I don’t mean to completely over generalize, but I think pictures are likely a part of this trend/phenomina. The short and terse nature of twitter posts may also be a driver.

  4. Here's an interesting question: how do they count the "entities" that are genderless on Twitter? And the bots (I'm thinking in particular the porn bots)? Without reading more of the study and seeing their methodology, I'm not even sure that I trust it.

    I would also question the "early adopter" issue…a lot of early adopters in the tech arena are male, and they would tend to acquire a lot of followers over time. Also, a lot of celebrities and CEOs are joining Twitter, and while I'm sure it goes without saying that CEOs tend to be male, most of the celebrities that are on Twitter that get talked about the most tend to be men (I'm thinking Ashton, Perez Hilton, P. Diddy, etc). What about all the politicians? Maybe it's more how people are using Twitter as a news feed rather than a communication tool that means companies, celebrities, and politicians (almost all overwhelmingly male populations) are getting more followers. I notice there's not a lot about the QUALITY of the communication.

  5. Here’s an interesting question: how do they count the “entities” that are genderless on Twitter? And the bots (I’m thinking in particular the porn bots)? Without reading more of the study and seeing their methodology, I’m not even sure that I trust it.

    I would also question the “early adopter” issue…a lot of early adopters in the tech arena are male, and they would tend to acquire a lot of followers over time. Also, a lot of celebrities and CEOs are joining Twitter, and while I’m sure it goes without saying that CEOs tend to be male, most of the celebrities that are on Twitter that get talked about the most tend to be men (I’m thinking Ashton, Perez Hilton, P. Diddy, etc). What about all the politicians? Maybe it’s more how people are using Twitter as a news feed rather than a communication tool that means companies, celebrities, and politicians (almost all overwhelmingly male populations) are getting more followers. I notice there’s not a lot about the QUALITY of the communication.

  6. i unfollow women much more often than men for wasting my time .. just how it has worked out … few left now, though always looking for those in my interest areas independent of gender

  7. i unfollow women much more often than men for wasting my time .. just how it has worked out … few left now, though always looking for those in my interest areas independent of gender

  8. Maybe it's because men are more concise. 140 characters doesn't leave much room for the inane chatter I sometimes see on girl's FB's.