The gender social gap in 2018

Historically women have been the dominant users of social media. Back in 2016 my colleague Lola, using data from our UK Social Media Demographics 2016, queried whether that may change and we’d see men becoming the dominant gender on social media.

In 2016 women were the biggest users of the leading platforms that mainstream media obsess about: Facebook (82% women vs 75% men), WhatsApp (52% vs 43%), Instagram (32% vs 27%), and Snapchat (23% vs 18%).

The only platforms that tilted in favour of men were LinkedIn (33% men vs 26% women), (Periscope 8% vs 4%), and Twitter (46% vs 43%).

What has changed in the 2018 version of our data?

Surprisingly Lola was wrong and Facebook (84% women vs. 73% men), Facebook Messenger (75% vs 62%), and Instagram (48% vs. 35%) have all seen the gender gap widen in favour of female users. Additionally, female users have caught up with their male opposites on Twitter.

While female users are more likely to use the top 10 social media apps (LinkedIn the exception where men dominate the app by 10 percentage points), men are leading on the alternative apps.

Men dominate Reddit (21% male users vs. 15% female users), Tumblr (19% vs 15%), Tinder (13% vs 10%), WeChat (11% vs 8%), VKontakte (9% vs 6%). Although men are the main demographic using the app Grindr (11%), a surprisingly high 6% of female users agreed they have used the app.

So, not only do female users remain the largest demographic in social media use of the top 10 apps but they have widened the gap. For their part men dominate on the smaller, alternative networks.