How women (like me) are shaping the Web, supposedly

More women than men visit social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and spend 30% more time per month using them, according to Internet research firm comScore. The research firm studied the Internet habits of women across the world,...

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More women than men visit social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and spend 30% more time per month using them, according to Internet research firm comScore.

The research firm studied the Internet habits of women across the world, and found that women make up less than half of the global online population, yet women spend more time online and their behaviour varies wildly from men.

On average, women spend more time online per month, 24.8 hours compared to 22.9 hours for men. But, when it comes to the social web, there’s an even bigger difference between the sexes.

Seventy six percent of all women online visit a social networking website, compared to 70 percent of men. The female population also spend more time on such websites than men, averaging 5.5 hours per month compared with 3.9 hours for men. Women engage in a host of social activities on the web, such as photo-sharing, gaming, video viewing and instant messaging, says the report.

Women are more likely to use the Internet to stay in touch with friends, and spend an average of 16.3% of their online time per month on social networks.

The “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet” report concludes that women are more engaged than their male counterparts, and women are the primary drivers of online and group buying. In fact, social retail may well be the next frontier.

comScore analyst Andrew Lipsman said it was surprising to see how critical women are in driving e-commerce sales. "There is perhaps a misconception that women prefer to do more of their shopping in-store while men prefer the instant gratification of online shopping, but in fact that’s simply not the case."

This report ran counter to some of my preconceptions. In the early days of the Internet, it was men that dominated the online landscape. Now women are driving a solid majority of Internet usage. (Women in the IT industry are still a minority group).

But the report also struck a chord for me. I was the first in my family to get onto Twitter and Facebook. I taught my brother, who is 8 years older than me, about StumbleUpon, Reddit and Digg. Also as I live in another country to the rest of my family, I was the first to get Skype and have to nag my father to use it. They still don’t like Instant messenger. I'm more likely to get hypnotised by Facebook and lose track of hours than any men that I know.

Closer to home, when my boyfriend goes online, he spends his time looking at football fixtures and the news. I am more likely to look at fashion and cooking blogs, and fashion social networking sites (they exists) like Lookbook.nu. The whole social aspect of the web is very attractive to me.

There was some findings that raised an eyebrow as well (and that eyebrow was most definitely plucked). The traditional view is that men are more likely to use the internet for online titillation. However, comScore said online gambling and adult content websites are no longer the exclusive territory of men.

Is the Internet changing as a result. What do you find interesting about the report?