Women Flock to Social Networks: Will They Dump Dating Sites to "Make Friends" Safely?

Recent data shows that the number of women logging on to social-networking sites far exceeds the number of men. Information is Beautiful recently presented the information, as gathered by Google Ad Planner.

Information Is Beautiful Infographic LinkedIn and YouTube bring in an equal number of men and women, but evidently far more women than men are flocking to Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace—64% of MySpace users, for example, are female. Digg is the only site that attracts more men.

So what's bringing women to these sites? Mark Brooks, a social networking and online dating analyst, says safety may be a driving factor. Pew Research reported earlier this year that 20% of adults on social networking sites are there for dating, while 49% are there to make new friends.

So people want to extend their social networks, but aren't ready to date. "Online dating sites offer a level of anonymity, but social networking sites, you can see a person's friends, how they interact," says Brooks. "More and more we're defining ourselves by the company we keep on social networks. It creates a sense of accountability, of safety."

It makes sense, given how Harvard Business School recently reported that men are much more likely to reciprocate relationships on Twitter than are women. Compared to other social networking sites, Twitter offers much less information about its users. That decreased level of accountability could be the reason that fewer women forge new relationships on Twitter.

It has also been speculated that "misery" is driving women to these sites (really?). Brooks says it's simpler than that. "Women have more to say—dare I say it?" he offers. "What better way to express yourself than on a social network, the ultimate circle of friends?"

[image via Information is Beautiful]

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