Women, Youth Have Higher IM Usage

August 4, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Asia-Pacific | Data-driven | Email | Media & Entertainment | Men | Women | Youth & Gen X

Women and younger adults use instant messaging (IM) at higher rates than men and older adults, according to a new study from comScore.

Women, Youth More Likely to IM
“How Women Are Shaping the Internet” indicates that younger adults and women generally have higher rates of IM usage than men and older adults. For example, IM has a reach approaching 50% among women age 15-24, and is slightly lower among men in that age group.

IM reach rates decline at a consistent level for both women and men in four of five age demographic categories. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, IM has a reach of almost 40% among both genders, with women having a slight edge.

The one age category that deviates from the pattern is the 45-54-year-old bracket. Women in this bracket have a slightly higher IM reach rate than women age 35-44, while the rate for men is essentially flat in the two age groups. Among both women and men, IM reach drops substantially among adults 55 and older, sinking below 30% for men of this age.


Email Reaches More Women
The reach of email follows a notably different pattern than IM in terms of gender and age. The reach of email is substantially higher among women of all age groups. This difference is most pronounced among adults 55 and older; email reaches about 70% of women in this category but only about 64% of men.

For women, email usage increases with age, generally speaking. Email reaches only 64% of women 15-24 but 68% of women 25-34. This figure slightly dips for women age 35-44 but hits a peak of more than 70% for women age 45-54.

Among men, email usage follows the same basic pattern but with lower reach rates. The highest email reach rate, more than 66%, is found among men age 45-54.

Latin America Leads IM, North America Leads Email
When usage of IM and email is broken down by global region, Latin America has the highest reach rates for IM and second-highest for email among adults of both genders age 15 and up. IM reaches 72.4% of Latin American women and 70.4% of Latin American men; while email reaches 80.6% of Latin American women and 79.1% of Latin American men.


Meanwhile, North American features the second-lowest reach rates for IM (30.7% of females and 30.2% of males) and highest reach rates for email (81.5% of females and 80% of males).


Asia-Pacific has the lowest reach rates for both communication technologies. IM reaches 22.5% of Asia-Pacific females and 19.7% of Asia-Pacific males, while email has reach rates of 56% and 53.6%, respectively. Worldwide, IM reaches 40.4% of females and 30.6% of males, while email reaches 67.2% of females and 60.4% of males.

Fewer Women Online Spending More Time
Women account for slightly fewer than half of global internet users but spend more time online than men, according to other results from “How Women Are Shaping the Internet.” The report indicates that globally, women represent 46% of internet users age 18 and up.

However, the average 15-plus female spends 8% more time online than her male counterpart. In April 2010, the global average was 24.8 hours per month for women, compared to 22.9 hours for men.

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