Social, consumer-driven companies aren’t just growing all over the Internet — they practically are the Internet. Facebook has 600 million users. Gilt Groupe has projected earnings of $500 million this year. And the people driving all this traffic (and sales) are overwhelmingly female, according to venture capitalist Aileen Lee.
So by that logic, well, women are the Internet. So much for the techie-nerd-boy stereotype!
Of those 600 million Facebook users, 62% of all messaging, updates, and comments come from women, and at Gilt, women drive 74% of the revenue. Meanwhile, daily deals discount monster Groupon made $760 million in 2010, and 77% of its users are women.
Even sites with reputations as “havens for boys” are male-dominated no longer. According to Lee, Twitter is often regarded as a “techie insider’s product” — a.k.a. a man’s product. Except women tweet more often than men, and have more followers — so that reputation is actually pretty specious.
The list goes on — Lee notes that women use Opentable, Yelp, and even the gaming site Zynga more often than men. And, interestingly, she says that while Yelp claims half of its users are male, it reports that the majority of its reviewers and e-commerce consumers are female.
Bottom line: if you’re an Internet start-up, it’s no longer smart to stick to the “male dominated” paradigm — the reality is far more female.