Which Social Network Does Your Target Customer Use?

A new report sheds light on the age and gender distribution of 24 popular social networks, among them Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Tumblr.
Business Writers
September 05, 2012

If you're on Twitter—or thinking about joining it—who are you most likely to reach?

A 37-year old female is the site's average user, says a new report. That's two years younger than Twitter's average age in 2010.

If that's not the profile of the customer you're trying to reach, chances are there is a social network or online community that is a better match, according to research done by website monitoring service Pingdom. The company studied the age and gender distribution of 24 of the most popular social networks, among them Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Tumblr.

Age Distribution

More than half (55 percent) of Twitter users are older than age 35, and that Twitter average age of 37 (technically 37.3)? It's a few months older than the average of all users (36.9) across the 24 networks Pingdom studied.

The youngest users—over half of which were under the age of 24—can be found on user-made art network DeviantART. LinkedIn had the highest percentage of users over age 55, and by far the highest average age: 44.2 years. Second to LinkedIn (at least age-wise) was Yelp, with an average user aged 42.2.

Twitter's average users are younger than those on Facebook, who have an average ages of 40. In the 2.5 years since Pingdom last studied the demographics, the age of the average Twitter user has gone down by two, while Facebook's has gone up by two.

Gender Distribution

Except for the very tech-focused sites, which tend to skew heavily male—Slashdot, for example, is 87 percent men—slightly more women than men use social media. Of the 24 sites, 17 have more female than male users, with the average gender distribution being 48.75 percent male, 51.25 percent female. The most female dominated site by a wide margin was Pinterest, with 79 percent. It's followed by Goodreads (70 percent women) and Blogger (66 percent).

Facebook and Twitter have identical gender distribution: 60 percent female, 40 percent male. Reddit, which scored the coup of hosting President Barack Obama last week, is more than 60 percent male. It's average users are also among the youngest of the sites Pingdom studied: 33.9.

Observed Pingdom: "To us, one big takeaway from this report is that there’s a place for everyone in today’s social media landscape. These sites have users that span the entire age spectrum, and there really are no limits to what you can achieve online, regardless of age or gender.

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