When traditional Journalists use words like "staggering" to describe something, my ears always perk up. It's like when someone starts a sentence by saying, "it's incumbent on us..." I always feel like what comes next is something I should be paying attention to. I was checking out the news on Mediaweek and saw this article: Study: U.S. Web Users Visiting Social Nets In Staggering Numbers.
Here is some of the insight:
"In less than five years, nearly half of all U.S. Internet users will visit at least one social networking site on a monthly basis, as will more than 80 percent of all teenagers – a demographic that is fueling the growth of the category by making it a core part of their Web surfing experience."
And what that means for us in the Digital Marketing space:
"Despite all the recent controversy to hit the still red-hot space – including Facebook’s ill-received introduction of its Beacon friend-referral product - advertising spending on social networks is expected to soar in 2008. eMarketer predicts that dollars will go from a mere $920 million this past year to $1.6 billion in 2008, an increase of nearly 74 percent."
With all of these Users engaged in online social networks and the money that eMarketer is predicating the online advertising community will toss at it, both MySpace and Facebook still dominate the landscape in the U.S. (same as Canada). According to this news item, MySpace and Facebook hold about seventy percent of those advertising dollars for themselves.
Even with global communities, I'm constantly fascinated that the popularity of specific online social networks is still geo-centric. What's popular in Canada is different from South America and Europe, Korea, etc... My thinking is that the next Facebook killer will be able to break that specific barrier.