Social Media and Social Networking

Get Social!

Unbelievable! Social Networks Record 93% Growth Since 2006

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on January 14, 2009

When social networks first started their journey, who would have thought they will become a buzzword in every corner of the world today? In fact, many believed it to be a temporary phase which would die out soon once they become common and standard. But the destiny of social networking has a different story to tell. Social networks have not only popularized increasingly over the years, but also recorded a growth of an astounding 93% since 2006, according to data released by research firm Netpop.

The winner who grabbed a major share of the pie is Facebook, showing a jaw dropping growth of 500% in the same period, thanks to its open-invitation to all users from a previously school-focused network.

Researchers believe that marketers as well as consumers will find social networking as a strong force, considering that the economy is currently in doldrums. Cate Riegner, VP of Research at Netpop Research, LLC stated that the growth in social networking is continuing to accelerate and the bonds users are developing with connections and groups of like-minded people have just started to shape behaviors.

Riegner continued that companies need to make their presence felt and engage with both their existing as well as potential fans. According to him, brands that experiment in social advertising at the present will be in the best position to leverage these essential media channels when the economy gets back to normal.

Other findings of Netpop Research include:

• Out of 138 million US broadband users with age over 13, 76% (105 million) are active contributors to the Web through social media, which includes photo uploads, blogging, rating products, along with other Web 2.0 activities.

• About 29% (40 million) broadband users contribute regularly to the Web particularly via social networks, while increasingly spending their online time to interact with each other (both one-to-one as well as one-to-many).

• In a week, a typical social network user connects with an average of 18 people one-to-one, whereas 110 people one-to-many.

• On an average, social network users consume 36% of their online time talking and sharing.

• Social network users exploit multiple modes to communicate and stay in touch, which includes blogs, IM (instant messaging), micro-blogs and texts.

• In US, around 60% of users are on Facebook, while 63% flock over MySpace. About 34% use both the social networks.

myspace-facebook From these figures, it is evident that social networking is a powerful medium through which marketers can benefit, provided they know how to make the best use out of it.

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