Monday, 9 July 2007

Are social networkers promiscuous?

A recent survey reported in the UK Times newspaper indicates that as social networking sites gain popularity, the loyalty of users is questionable. The research was undertaken by Parks Associates, who tracked user behaviour on some of leading social network sites like MySpace and Facebook and found that half of users regularly used more than one site (most of which are free) and one in six actively used three or more sites.

Much of this behaviour will depend on contact circles and the way the sites are used, yet it indicates that branding may be less important than the band-wagon effect, and that first-mover advantages may not be so strong in this sector. However, as a relatively young phenomenon, many users may still be testing out these sites before establishing some degree of loyalty where they find the best networks or online tools.

Facebook is quickly becoming the new 'darling' of the social network circle, having grown substantially in the last 3 years to contain more than 25 million members. It apparently accounts for 1% of all Internet traffic and is the 6th most visited site in the US. It's also taken over from Flickr as the most popular photo-sharing site with over 8 million images uploaded each day.

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