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Devon Smith
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Director of Social Media at Threespot. Stats nerd, voracious reader, world traveler, #nptech.
Director of Social Media at Threespot. Stats nerd, voracious reader, world traveler, #nptech.

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This = me 6 months ago

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My weekend = putting together some thoughts for an upcoming presentation on Google Plus at Threespot...

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Breaking News: 33% of Google+ Users Are Female

A lot of misinformation about Google+'s male to female ratio is going around Google+ and even being reported on by respectable media sites. For example:

Mashable Headline: Google+ Users Are Nearly All Male: http://mashable.com/2011/07/14/google-plus-male/

Forbes Blog: Sex Problems at Google+: http://blogs.forbes.com/quentinhardy/2011/06/30/sex-problems-at-google/

AdWeek: Google+ Is A Boys Club: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/google-boys-club-133450

All of these articles are based on totally flawed data. Here's why:

Socialstatistics.com is a cool site where G+ users can submit their profile to see if they make the top 100 leaderboard. Shortly after launching, the 87% male, 11% female, 2% other stat started making the rounds. But that data is completely skewed: males tend to compete for leaderboard recognition more than females.

Another great site, findpeopleonplus.com now indexes nearly 948,000 Google+ user profiles and tracks many data points about the users, including gender. They report that of the first 948,000 profiles they crawled, 74.9% are male and 25.1% are female. But crawling is time consuming and the crawlers were finding the mostly male user profiles from the initial field test seeding. This is not a random sampling.

My surname-based random sampling has shown a very different number. For the first time, I'm publishing it here:

7/4 77% Male, 23% Female
7/7 68.4% Male, 31.6% Female (after the user base had almost doubled)
7/14 66.4% Male, 33.6% Female

Google+ is quickly turning pink.

For comparison sake, LinkedIn, which is a business social network with more than 100 million users is still 63% Male and 37% Female according to Pew (See attached report below). Google+'s female population percentage will likely surpass LinkedIn's in early August. The poster of 18 men in a hot tub that has been passed around for the past week or two is not reflective of reality and is not what Google+ is going to end up being.

Google+ is definitely for men, women, and other. (But not kids....yet)

I'm attaching a link to a fantastic Pew Internet study report showing age and gender breakdowns for all the main social networks. Highly recommended.

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Much is being made of the "85% ofGoogle+ users are Male!" article: http://mashable.com/2011/07/14/google-plus-male/

But I was curious if that matched my own network:
In my G+ Circles: 32% female
Circles following me: 28% female

But I (now) work in a male-heavy industry, and used to work in a female-heavyindustry. So let's compare to my other social networks:
Facebook friends: 55% female
People I'm following on Twitter: 30% female
Twitter followers: 59% female

Maybe it's just a feature of gender-preferences for social networks and notmy "real" networks?
G-mail contacts: 50% female
iPhone contacts: 42% female

So in "real life," my friends are somewhere around 46% female.
On Facebook, my social network tends to be a little more female.
On Google+, my social network tends to be a little less female.
On Twitter, apparently I'm biased towards following men.

At any rate. I don't think we need to be up in arms because two weeks afterlaunching, Google+ skews slightly male. How do your networks break down bygender?
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