A new report from Jupiter MMXI suggests that men and women across Europe use the internet in quite different ways.

The number of wired women across Europe has increased rapidly of late, up 29% year-on-year in February to 25.1 million, compared with 40.1m men.

Although women spend less time on the web than their male counterparts (seven hours a month compared with 10), their time online is used more effectively, being devoted to shopping, arranging travel, banking and sending ecards. Men too use the net for such purposes, but also make time to browse content sites and download applications.

To illustrate such differences, Jupiter constructed a surfing profile of an average British male panellist aged 25–34 and that of a female equivalent.

The male surfer spent much of his time downloading the winmx application, visiting computer retail sites such as dabs.com, reading content on ‘lad’ site fhm.com and going to datingdirect.com; the female surfer’s most visited sites were estate agency rightmove.co.uk and grocery retailer sainsburystoyou.co.uk.

“To target women, websites need to understand what content and information will appeal to a female audience,” declared report author Michele Poliziani. “Clearly sites that allow women to perform a function or provide information to help with their daily lives in some way are popular.”

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff