Social Networking Consuming More Time

Social Networking Consuming More Time

JULY 31, 2007

Some MySpacers never log off.

MySpace and other social networks may have more growth ahead, according to data on June 2007 Web usage from Compete.

The firm measured what it calls "attention" (defined as the
percentage of all time spent online that is devoted to one site), and
attention for MySpace jumped 20% in June 2007 from the previous month.

In fact, the top six social networks all saw increased
attention, and the top 20 social networks received over 15% of all
attention in June. MySpace consumes an outsized share of Internet user
time overall.


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For marketers, this matters in part because many social networkers are willing to host or pass along sponsored content.

One study, from Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions,
concluded that "the advertising potential for social networking is
huge: 70% of UK social networkers are prepared to include sponsored
content on their personal page, whilst 10% have already branded their
space."

The UK is similar enough in Web usage that it can serve as a
directional guide to Internet behavior in the US. In the study, 68% of
UK social networkers said they had visited another Web site after
seeing something on a friend’s social network page. Just under half
used a search engine to learn more and 35% had forwarded the space, ad
or link to a friend.

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eMarketer Senior Analyst Debra Aho Williamson said, "There’s no
doubt that social networks take up a huge amount of Internet time,
especially for younger demographic groups.

"However, the continuing challenge for marketers is to find
ways to engage consumers in this environment. Often, their attention is
directed toward their friends and their own profile page, not
necessarily the advertising. When social networks get better at
targeted advertising, consumers will be more likely to respond."

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