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It is no accident that Typhoid Mary was a woman January 14, 2008

Posted by jeremyliew in social games, social gaming, social media, social networks.

There is increasing evidence to suggest that in the consumer internet, females serve much better than males in spreading the viral growth of social media, social networks and social games

The most recent Pew Internet report on Teens and Social Media notes that:

Girls continue to dominate most elements of content creation. Some 35% of all teen girls blog, compared with 20% of online boys, and 54% of wired girls post photos online compared with 40% of online boys.

This is certainly consistent with the demographics of the major social networks, widget platforms and social media sites. Quantast shows that more than half of the users of these sites to be female with the exception of Digg. (Quantcast does not show a gender breakdown of Slide.)

female % of social networks

I recently spoke to the people who run a popular social network and they shared some of their stats with me:

1) In 2007, 56% of total signups were female.

2) Females are 33% more likely to invite friends than are males.

3) Females are 10% more likely to respond to an invite from a female vs. a male.

4) Males are 50% more likely to respond to an invite from a female vs. a male.

It is easy to see that in social networks, social media, and social gaming, where viral marketing is a going to be a key driver of user acquisition, it will be important to build a product that is attractive to women. This has certain implications for the themes and genres of these sites and games. Some of the current crop of Facebook games may be more “female friendly” (e.g. Fluff Friends) than others (e.g. Duels) and these may have better success in growing virally.


1. amisare - January 14, 2008

Even more astonishing are the statistics from surveys on purchase decision for major expense items such as car and family home : 80% of such decisions are made by women.

“Women . . . the Decision Makers!” http://www.insidercarsecrets.com/women.html

“Women are main decision-makers when it comes to buying a home” http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2002/01/28/focus7.html

Similar purchase decision statistics has been reported many times else way:

“The way to a woman’s heart: ignoring her as chief purchase decision-maker limits sales–even in ‘masculine’ products. Foremost, make a difference in her life.” http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb037/is_200407/ai_n5762127

“Women power: how to market to 51% of Americans” http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/marketing/market-research/women-power-how-to-market-to-51-of-americans.aspx


Marketers (& designers!), ignore women at your own perils!!

2. Scott Rafer - January 14, 2008

And, of course, there’s how insanely high dogster’s monetization per unique is.

3. Sanjay Vakil - January 25, 2008

Great data, terrible analogy.

Typhoid Mary didn’t network. She just infected food.

4. NY Times on why young women are driving the social web « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog - February 21, 2008

[…] People building social media and social games need to think about their teen girl strategy; as I have noted in the past, it is no accident that Typhoid Mary was a woman. […]

5. IRENE KAORU » Blog Archive » Pack up your words and go home - April 4, 2008

[…] than men do–we’re encouraged to verbalize and emote more from birth–and teen girl bloggers and social internet users outnumber teen male bloggers. It seems natural and good to me that with the inclusion of more young female voices comes a shift […]

6. How casual MMOs benefit from hardcore players « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog - June 18, 2008

[…] for much broader, mass market appeal. As I’ve noted before, there is increasing evidence that women drive viral growth more than men do, so if you want to see viral growth in games, it makes sense to make games that […]

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