[Air-L] Social Networks, Gender and Friending: An Analysis of MySpace Member Profiles

m.thelwall at blueyonder.co.uk m.thelwall at blueyonder.co.uk
Mon Aug 6 03:17:46 PDT 2007

Any public or private comments on the MySpace paper below are welcome. It
seems that in MySpace females are more sought after as friends by both
males and females - does this match most people's expectations?

Social Networks, Gender and Friending: An Analysis of MySpace Member Profiles

In 2007, the social networking web site MySpace apparently overthrew
Google as the most visited web site for U.S. web users. If this heralds a
new era of widespread online social networking, then it is important to
investigate user behaviour and attributes. Although there has been some
research into social networking already, basic demographic data is
essential to set previous results in a wider context and to give insights
to researchers, marketers and developers. In this article the demographics
of MySpace members are explored through data extracted from two samples of
15,043 and 7,627 member profiles. The median declared age of users was
surprisingly high at 21, with a small majority of females. The analysis
confirmed some previously reported findings and conjectures about social
networking, for example that female members tend to be more interested in
friendship and males more interested in dating. In addition, there was
some evidence of three different friending dynamics: oriented towards
close friends, acquaintances, or strangers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, female
and younger members had more friends than others, and females were more
likely to maintain private profiles, but males and females both seemed to
prefer female friends, with this tendency more marked in females for their
closest friend. The typical MySpace user is apparently female, 21, single,
with a public profile, interested in online friendship and logging on
weekly to engage with a mixed list of mainly female ‘friends’ who are
predominantly acquaintances.

Full paper:

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