Social Media Demographics: Google+ is For Guys

Mar. 06, 2012 | by Gregory Lyons

As Twitter has recently hit 500 million registered users and Google+ now has 90 million users, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the demographic makeup of each of the major social networks to see if certain types of people gravitate to a particular social network.

Looking at UK traffic data for the four social networks, Facebook is unsurprisingly way out in front with over 10x as many unique visitors as Google+. What is worth noting however is Twitters continued growth over the last 12 months, growing over 60% (Jan 2011 vs Jan 2012).

Facebook may get the most traffic but perhaps it doesn’t do as well with user engagement, maybe people spend less time on site, or come back less often? Not the case, looking at the stats above we can see that Facebook also has the most engaged users, with Google+ coming last as people spend little over a minute on average on the site and only visit the site twice per month, compared to Facebooks 40x per month.

Above we can see the average age breakdown of each of the sites. While Facebook has the largest number of people over 55 using its site in the UK, Google+ has the largest proportion of 25-34 year olds. This may be because Facebook is more established in society and therefore attracting more of the older generation while Google+ is still quite new and therefore still mainly being used by the early adopter crowd.

Looking at the sex of people using the four social networks we can see that Facebook has an evenly balanced male female split with Twitter and LinkedIn skewing slightly towards the male demographic. Google+ has the largest skew towards the male demographic with just over 60% of the site users being male, again perhaps due to the current early adopter crowd.

Finally we decided to take a look at the social grade of people using the sites. From the graph above we can see that LinkedIn has the highest proportion of upper middle class and middle class users (occupationally defined as middle and upper management professionals), while Facebook has the highest proportion of retired users (which matches the larger number of people over 55) and also has the highest number of users in the D and E class

On the whole looking at the data on the four sites the results aren’t too surprising. The usage numbers for Twitter are likely higher than the traffic volumes would suggest as we are unable to measure the people accessing twitter directly through desktop apps. What is impressive is Facebooks complete dominance. In the majority of cases, traffic, engagement, male/female balance, societal representation, Facebook was top of the pack, the notable exception was social grade where LinkedIn pulls in more high value users. So if you’re looking for wide reach head to Facebook, if you want to target high value individuals head over to LinkedIn and for the moment Google+ is a wait and see.

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    Comments (2)

    • CSRWeb SEO Guide

      I think Google+ will start growing faster as the integration with search results starts growing. Its kind of a sub-concious reminder about Google+ built into the search results pages to make you think, oh, I haven't checked my Google+ page for a while.Mar 13, 2012 10:40 pm

    • Social Media Demographics | Cool International | Ventures | Digital Media | Technology | Cool Blog

      [...] Social Media Demographics: Google+ is For Guys ( [...]Mar 10, 2012 04:27 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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