Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Market Study: Social Networking: Finding Friends Online

Social Networking: Finding Friends Online

In recent years, online communities, also known as social networks, have experienced stellar growth. Beginning in the mid-90's, social networks allow individuals to connect virtually, via the Internet, based on common interests. In the twelve years that followed, more than 400 social networking sites have populated the Internet. As these sites struggle to attain critical mass and retain members, they also search for business models to attract venture capitalists and achieve profitability.

This In-Depth Analysis defines types of social networks, profiles participants, explores popular business models, discusses the migration of social networks to mobile technology, and incorporates the results of an In-Stat survey about online communities.

Table of Contents
Executive Summary
An Overview of Social Networking
Social Networks Defined
A Brief History
Types of Social Networks
Social Networking Sites
Business networking
Common interest
Face to face facilitation
Friend networking
Pet networking
Photo Sharing
The International Spread
Advertising Revenue
User Fees
Access to Member Information
Mobile Social Networking
Mobile Social Networking Providers in America
AT&T Wireless
Verizon Wireless
Boost Mobile
Social Networking Users
Younger Users – Thirteen to mid-twenties
Career Aged Users – 26 to 64
Older Adults - 50+ users
Survey Results
Social Network Participation
Features and Spending
Preferred Communication Method
Mobile Devices and Social Networking

List of Tables
Table 1. Five Popular Business Networking Sites
Table 2. Ten Popular Common Interest Networking Sites
Table 3. Twenty Popular Dating Social Networking Sites
Table 4. Ten Popular Face-to-Face Facilitation Sites
Table 5. Ten Popular Friend Networking Sites
Table 6. Ten Popular Pet Networking Sites
Table 7. Twenty Popular Photo Sharing Sites
Table 8. Ten Popular Blog Sites
Table 9. Ten Popular International SNS Websites
Table 10. Mobile Access to Social Networking Sites
Table 11. Twenty Popular MoSoSo Sites
Table 12. Most Utilized Sites (as Reported by Respondents to Our Survey)
Table 13. Reasons for Participating in a Social Networking Site
Table 14. Features Currently Purchased by Respondents
Table 15. Monthly Spending for Premium Services
Table 16. Future Payment for Premium Services
Table 17. Barriers to Purchasing Premium Services and Features
Table 18. Respondent Willingness to Meet Online Contact in Person
Table 19. Means of Communication with Online Contact
Table 20. Respondents Using a Mobile Device for Social Networking
Table 21. Barriers to Using a Mobile Device for Social Networking

List of Figures
Figure 1. Market Share for Popular Social Networking Sites

Service: Consumer Media & Content
Product Number: IN0703412CM
Publication Date: April 2007
Number of Pages: 24
Price: $3,495 U.S. Dollars
Analyst: Jill Meyers

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