Sunday, July 17, 2011

All is not lost, men; there are indeed women on Google+

It's not a dating service, so we're unclear why there's such a big deal over it. That said, recent data about Google's new social networking service Google+ points to an overwhelming male majority, and that has made some headlines.

Create A Free Profile & Start Searching Match.comIt's not clear that the sampling is necessarily valid, however. One example is findpeopleonplus.com which has crawled and indexed almost 948,000 Google+ users. Of those, the site report that of the first 948,000 profiles they crawled, 73.7 percent are male and 24.7 percent are female [interestingly, just about 1 percent are "other"]. As noted by Paul Allen, CEO of Ancestry.com, who has been doing Google+ census studies, crawling takes a lot of time, and most likely the statistics were based on the "mostly male initial field test seeding," not a random sampling.

Socialstatistics.com is a leaderboard site. Google+ users can submit their profile, and right now there are 31,852 profiles tracked. The leaderboard, actually, is pretty much the same as that on findpeopleonplus.com. Shortly after it launched, the rather skewed numbers that the site had, of 87 percent male, 11 percent female, and 2 percent other was publicized. As Allen again states, that data is skewed by the fact that males appear to be much more competitive than women in terms of leaderboard recognition.

Seriously, though, consider that the service still isn't public: you need an invitation to join. Also, even if you take the statistics from the two sites as rote, a look at the job descriptions on findpeopleplus.com shows why the data is skewed toward male: 7 out of the top 10 job descriptions are programmers, software designers, engineers, etc.

Meanwhile, Allen continued his (possibly) more accurate surname-based census, and came up with the following data;
  • 7/4 77 percent Male, 23 percent Female
  • 7/7 68.4 percent Male, 31.6 percent Female (after the user base had almost doubled)
  • 7/14 66.4 percent Male, 33.6 percent Female (at which point the user base had reached 10 million, according to Google)
While Facebook's own 2010 stats showed a near-perfect 50-50 split, with 48.5 percent female and 48.3 percent male, that's also with 750 million users and a public release. Our guess, based on the trend, is that more women will join as the service becomes more popular and once it goes public, as well.



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