Sunday, August 26, 2007

Never Ending Friending: A Journey Into Social Networking

A Major-Major New Report on Social Networking commissioned by Fox Interactive Media:

Never Ending Friending: A Journey Into Social Networking (April 2007)

Depending on your vantage point, social networking represents:

***A fad, especially among the young and tech-obsessed
***An unprecedented tool for keeping in touch with friends and family
*** A disruptive, unscripted environment
***An unparalleled opportunity for brands and consumers to make real connections
***Some combination of all of the above ... and then some.

Interestingly, despite all the talk -- the water cooler pronouncements, the breathless media coverage, and the teenage conversations you may have overheard at home and in your communities –- social networking remains a relatively new and under-examined topic.

What's real? What's true? What works?

Nobody really knows.

In early 2007, MySpace aimed to change that. We embarked on a nationwide "listening tour," a series of qualitative research sessions among users of social networking sites. In concert, we fielded a groundbreaking quantitative study among a national sample of social networking users and non-users. Together, these two methods aimed at uncovering the myriad motivations, attitudes, and behaviors that underlie present growth of this exciting new arena and will shape its future in the days ahead.

We wanted the answers to questions such as:

— Are social networks merely a fun sideline to real life, or do they represent a fundamental change in the way people are interacting with each other, and with media at large?

— How much time and energy are users devoting to social networking, and to what end?

— How does social networking fit into the overall media landscape and into the online media landscape?

— What’s the primary function of social networks?

— What opportunities, if any, exist for brands to create more meaningful consumer connections within these social networks?

— Where does MySpace fit within the category landscape?

— What role does MySpace play in consumers’ everyday lives?

— What activities do users participate in while on social networks?

— How do social networks generate value for brands?

— What are the right model and metrics to summarize and manage any brand value creation?

After listening to respondents, crunching numbers, and working to synthesize all this data into a singular narrative, we happened upon a simple phrase that we think best expresses the emerging new world of social networks: “never ending friending”. [snip]

In summary, we learned that social networking is a quantum change in how we interact – with each other, with bands and brands, and with the entire media landscape.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1
The Insider’s View of the Evolving World of Social Networking
Consumer research by TNS & TRU

Chapter 2
The Momentum Effect: Creating Brand Value in the Social Networking Space
Advertising research by Marketing Evolution

Chapter 3
Implications for Brands and Agencies

Full Text Available


1 comment:

Mark said...

This is only sort of research. Mostly it is advertising to attract advertisers to MySpace. One has the sense that there is real research behind this report, but then it was packaged to suit the business objectives of the sponsors (hence released for free).