WeChat Report: Gender Difference on App Use

July 30, 2018
Editor: Liu Yang

Both sexes use the popular social media app WeChat quite differently, especially in terms of their motives, emphasis, frequency and other aspects, according to the latest report.

Yang Jia, a professor from Qiongtai Normal University in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, has shared her findings in an academic study using a gender-disaggregated approach.

WeChat has become the most popular social media platform in the country. Figures show that over 900 million users log in to their personal accounts and send a total of 38 billion messages every day on average.

According to a previous report from 2016, 61 percent users looked into their WeChat more than 10 times a day, while 36 percent said they did so over 30 times a day.

Some 54 percent of users spent about an hour a day using WeChat. Women spent more time than men on the app in general.

Many women make use of WeChat to distract them from pressures, while the main motive for male users is because it is easy, simple and interesting to operate.

Female users attach more importance to such topics as fashion, entertainment and privacy, while men are more inclined to follow the latest news.

In contrast to male users, women are reluctant to make friends with strangers, especially the opposite sex, on WeChat.

The main purposes for women's access to WeChat are to consolidate their existing social relations in the real world and present themselves on the platform while men tend to use it to expand their social circle and enjoy convenience.

On the platform, both genders are free to express themselves and even align with the opposite sex on WeChat, according to the expert.

For instance, male users tend to convey their love, sympathy and emotion on the app. Meanwhile, women become more independent, resolved, strong-minded and logical, and are interested in political and military topics, said Yang.

The professor explained that the alignment with the opposite sex and closer interactions among them on WeChat is conducive to the building of a social atmosphere between both men and women.

She also noted in her research that the use of WeChat has unintentionally replicated and intensified the differences between two genders in their actual lives.

Compared with their male counterparts, women users like to use personal photos for avatars but refuse to leak much more information.

Concerning the use of hongbao, or red envelope gift money, and financial transactions on WeChat, women tend to convey their care to friends and showcase their economic independence, while male users demonstrate their wealth and their domination of the world in the process.

(Source: China Women's News / Translated and edited by Women of China)

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