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Social Networking Euphoria

April 24, 2007
Jay

Yesterday Fox Interactive Media (FIM), a division of News Corporation, released a series of research findings from the first comprehensive study examining both the growth and marketing power of online social networks yesterday at theNever Ending Friending, a conference in Los Angeles for FIM marketing clients.

In conjunction with Isobar and Carat USA and leading independent marketing research firms TRU, TNS and Marketing Evolution, the study incorporated both qualitative and quantitative feedback from about 3,000 U.S. Internet users.

As we already know, social networks have caused a fundamental shift in the way people interact with each other and with media. The study revealed more than 70% of Americans 15-34 are actively using social networks online, and the research showed social networking sites taking a strong foothold in the primetime hours; enriching existing relationships with family and friends; and initiating meaningful brand connections.

This shouldn’t be surprising! Many of us are on one or many social networking sites (and if you’re not you need to be!) and already realize the power of these online societies. We rely on the power within these networks for business or pleasure or a combination of both.

The study brings to life more facts:

  • Of U.S. social networkers asked which free-time activity they would choose, users chose interacting on sites such as MySpace.com as their favorite activity online or offline, ahead of television viewing and on par with cell phone usage.
  • Of those polled, 69% said they utilize social networks to connect with existing friends and 41% said they use the sites connect with family members.
  • Current social networkers spend on average more than seven hours per week on social networking sites.
  • More than 31% of online social networkers claim they spend more time on the Web in general after starting to use a social network.
  • More than 40% of all social networkers said they use social networking sites to learn more about brands or products that they like, and 28% said at some point a friend has recommended a brand or product to them.

So what does all this mean? Why do we flock to online social networking sites like little kids to candy stores? Well the study went one step further to find out WHY users are so engulfed in social networking sites – to make our offline lives richer and more exciting! More than 48% said they are having more fun in life in general and 45% said their lives are more exciting as a result of spending time networking online. In addition, 57% said theyve found more people with similar interests and 52% said they feel more in tune with whats happening socially in their lives due to social networking sites.

So what group do you fall in? Let us know!