A Wired article today discussed the lack of a female presence on the young social network Google+ (70 percent male). With five female technologists blaming Googlers themselves for the skew to the Y Chromosome. But does any of this even matter? I’ve never seen a site like Google+ answer to so much scrutiny for only being a year old. Pinterest, makes up about the same ratio exchanging male for female (70 percent female), and this feature is viewed as an attribute, not a curse.
The hard part here, is that Google+ is trying to be anything and everything in the social space. Because Google+ is competing with every social network, it gets compared to every social network. Along with that comes a big target. Also, if Google+ was created by anyone other than Google, people would probably be rejoicing at the engagement and the network’s reach. With 250 million activated accounts, 150 million monthly active users, and 125 million users that sign in every day. Ratios seem borderline irrelevant.
It’s perhaps a fair assessment from Jess Lee, founder of the fashion-photo community Polyvore, stating, “I think the seed of that community is very very important. Polyvore was seeded on fashion forums. Google+ was actually seeded with Google employees, so it was tech, and honestly mostly male. That’s part of how it grew — those people invited their friends. Facebook started at colleges… Myspace probably started with music. It’s all about the seed, and the seed for Google+ was different.”
With that said, how it’s seeded probably does determine who’s on it – whatever that means – male, female, Basset Hound hybrid beast. The point is, people use what they are comfortable with – and that’s a good thing. I don’t usually spend time viewing my Pinterest feed, mostly because I can always tell when my female friends are digitally window shopping. This usually entails clothing, and so many pins regarding clothing that anything else of significance is beaten down with a digital clutch, or a pixelated heel. This doesn’t mean I want Pinterest to change, I just accept it for what it is.
So let’s take the latest claim that Google+ is made up of only 30 percent female. That means 75 million activated accounts are female, with 38 million users that sign in every day being female. So is Google+ really losing out? Many social networks fail to have over 75 million users period – much less one demographic. Also, keep in mind the sites youth. At only a year old, Google+ is still an infant operating in a playing field filled with niche social sites focusing on doing only one or two things well. So relax, Google+ may be a dude ranch, but who ever needed it to change? At least 125 million appear to be happy.