The NY Times realizes that teen girls are driving social media:
Research by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, the result of focus groups and interviews with young people 13 to 22, suggests that girls’ online practices tend to be about their desire to express themselves, particularly their originality.
“With young women it’s much more about expressing yourself to others in the way that wearing certain clothes to school does,” said John Palfrey, the executive director of the Berkman Center. “It ties into identity expression in the real world.”
That desire is never so evident as when girls criticize online copycats who essentially steal their Web page backgrounds and graphics by hotlinking (linking to someone else’s image so it appears on one’s own Web page). Aside from depleting bandwidth, it is the digital equivalent of arriving at a party wearing the same dress as another girl, Professor Palfrey said.
People building social media and social games need to think about their teen girl strategy; as I have noted in the past, it is no accident that Typhoid Mary was a woman.