Battle of the sexes rages on Twitter

3 Jun 2009

A battle of the sexes is raging on popular micro-blogging site Twitter, with men having 15pc more followers than women, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Men, it appears, also have more reciprocated relationships in which two users follow each other.

According to the Harvard Business Review study of 300,500 Twitter users, women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships.

Despite this follower split, women hold a slight majority on Twitter, comprising 55pc to men at 45pc.

The Review’s study also found that the average man is likely to follow another man than a woman, while the average woman on Twitter is 25pc more likely to follow a man than a woman.

The average man, according to the study, is 40pc more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman.

There is parity in terms of the number of tweets sent by the sexes – men and women tweet at the same rate.

The study’s authors believe that Twitter is developing at a faster rate than other social networks insofar as 80pc of the 300,500 users are followed by or follow at least one user.

By comparison, only 60pc–65pc of other online social networks members had at least one friend.

The preponderance of men following men is also out of sync with the general social network’s development. On a typical social network, most of the activity is focused around women, with men following content produced by women they do not know and women following content produced by women they know.

In general, on social networks men receive little attention from other men or women.

Also, compared to other online social networks, Twitter users contribute very rarely. The median number of lifetime tweets per user is one, translating into over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every 74 days.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years