How Instagram Affects Men and Women Differently: Gender-Specific Behaviors and OutcomesMen and women use Instagram quite differently than each other. Men are mostly on Instagram for business reasons while women like to share more personal information about them, presenting their personal lives online. Women express and share stuff more readily than most men which shows why women dominate many social media sites. All this is according to the data presented by FinancesOnline.com. Here we will dive deeper and look at the more gender-specific behaviors on Instagram and the motivations each gender has behind their actions.
Instagram Gender DemographicLook at the statistics provided to us by Statistica, which shows us the distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of July 2020; we can see that slightly more women are using Instagram than men. According to the survey, 51% of the Instagram user base was female, while 49% were male. [caption id="attachment_1511" align="aligncenter" width="742"] Instagram Male and Female Users in the UK (statista.com)[/caption]
Male VS Female InfluencersWhen male influencers are just starting, they will notice that it's harder for them to get likes and engagement compared to their female partners. The main reason is that women just interact with other women more, liking and commenting on each other's photos a lot more than men. You will also notice when you visit your 'Discover' tab, how most of the influencers you see are women. According to the CEO of influencer marketing agency Mediakix, Evan Asano, there are simply more females who are working as lifestyle influencers. Additionally, female influencers are not only dominating the lifestyle space by being the majority there, but they are also bringing a lot more cash than male influencers.
Female Influencers bring home bigger paychecksDigital Brand Architects' chief creative officer, Karen Robinovitz, says that if we analyze two people who have somewhat similar numbers of followers, we will see that females will find it easier to bring 50% more cash home than the male influencer. Asano also agrees here as we can see when comparing the influencers in the lifestyle space, the rate that men charge is somewhat between $3 and $6 cost per session, which can also drop lower. At the same time, the rate that women are charging is way more, between $5 and $10 cost per session.
Why are women dominating Instagram?The answer to this question can be found by analyzing how Instagram first started. When the app came out in 2010, YouTube was already one of the top used apps and was out for more than five years. The two most money-making and popular industries on YouTube back then were fashion and beauty. With Michelle Phan and Bethany Mota being the names that at that time, every household which was into fashion knew. Now when Instagram came out, many of the women dominating the categories of fashion and beauty made their way to Instagram. And it was easier too as some had their fanbase migrate to the new app as well. [caption id="attachment_1512" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Source: Aumcore[/caption] There certainly are some influencers who get paid on rates that can be compared to the most successful female influencers. Still, according to Asano, most of the time, the demand for female influencers is simply more due to the Instagram audience being largely female.
There is a larger demand for female influencersAnother problem that we can see with male influencers is that when it comes to women presenting themselves on social media, it's generally viewed quite positively. At the same time, with men, the case is different. When it comes to male influencers, they are seen as doing something out of the ordinary and abnormal that doesn't fit well with them. When men are seen on Instagram, they are seen as they might be there for the wrong reasons. This, however, does not mean that women don't have their own set of challenges to face.
Women have a harder time starting on Instagram than menWomen who are looking to start on Instagram today will have a hard time reaching a large audience because of so much competition in the space. Asano says that you would have a one in a million shot of being successful now. However, for men who are decent looking and have a good sense of style will have a much easier time becoming a lifestyle influencer or men's fashion influencer. Since the competition is less fierce when it comes to men, it means that they have it easy to start from scratch and gain a respectable amount of followers. They may also be able to ask for better salaries when working with companies or brands searching specifically for men influencers for their campaign. According to Stephanie Abrams Cartin, co-founder, and CEO of social media agency Socialfly, says that men have more leverage when negotiating for pay rate since the options are so limited.
Women are more likely to show engagementSince more women are looking out for fashion and lifestyle inspiration, it means that there will be more women liking, commenting, and providing overall more engagement. And more engagement translates to more money. According to Asano, influencers working in the fashion and beauty space have one of the highest pays and also receive the most brand interest overall. Brands and businesses look towards Instagram's influencers as conversion-starters which are great at their job and have a significant impact on their audiences. But now as the demographics, we saw earlier, male influencers are entering the space and receiving much success. This highlights the imbalances we have within the industry.
Men go for information, women for relationshipsAccording to research, we can see how men come to social media for mostly information while women, on the other hand, come to connect with other people. Studies further show that when men come to social media, they are mostly looking to form new relationships while most women try to strengthen the ones they have. Facebook conducted an investigation which revealed that female users are more likely to share their personal issues, which revolve around family matters and relationships. In contrast, men are most focused on abstract topics(things like politics). The researchers then analyzed the status updates given by both genders and then evaluated them on audience reactions. The research not only shows how men and women were close to certain topics, but it also showed that topics that were close to females had more chances of receiving likes from users while male topics were commented more.
Women receive more negative feedback when expressing opinionsWomen also have interests in abstracts topics, enough to make them share them, but the main problem that women face when sharing their opinions is negative feedback. Women tend to receive more offensive comments when they try to present their opinions. This was proved by a twitter experiment which was conducted by Martin Belam, a British journalist. What Marten did was create a spoof account in which guest tweeted as both female and male celebrities. When he presented his opinions as a woman, there was a clear increase in abusive comments while some even being misogynist ones. The research that was conducted by the Guardian also found similar results. When they analyzed 70 million readers' comments on their site, they found out that the journalists that were abused the most were women.
Women tend to post more selfies than menMen and women like to talk about different things when it comes to social media, and that's why their choice of platforms vary too. Male users tend to move towards platforms that are text-oriented, while female users will gravitate to more visual platforms. This is proved when we see how Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram have a userbase which is mostly women and discussion forums like Digg or Reddit have a dominant male userbase. [caption id="attachment_1514" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]
Photo by Katie E from Pexels
[/caption] The answer to why do women tend to lean towards platforms that share Tallinn University sociologist Katrin Tiidenberg gives more visual content. She believes that since traditionally mothers have been the one claiming responsibility of taking family photos, the female practice has continued with apps like Instagram and Pinterest, which are more picture focused. This explains why women tend to take more selfies than men.