June 11, 2008 16:06 ET

High Growth Forecasted for the Social Networking: Competitive Differentiation Strategies

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 11, 2008) - announces that a new market research report related to the Internet Business industry is available in its catalogue.

Social networking: competitive differentiation strategies

2007 was the year that social networking became the norm for many Internet users, as initial strong growth pushed the user base into the multiple millions. But it was also the year that sounded warning bells for those who believe social networking represents the next frontier in online advertising revenues. A sobering slowdown in growth, combined with a more worrying drop in usage of social networking sites, has highlighted the significant challenges that the big established players, in particular, face in keeping users engaged.

This could well sway the odds in favour of some of the more specialised sites, who are able to focus on catering to the needs of different audiences. In the short term, all players will be aggressively developing new ways of making sites stickier (and more profitable) and forging new partnerships with third parties, ranging from mobile operators to application developers.

Table of contents

Key Messages

Market development

Social networking companies: tread carefully on valuations

2007 sees high growth... and a tailing off

User engagement is on the decline

Social networking becomes the norm

Normal can also mean banal

Social networking goes global

Facebook versus MySpace: the draw of rich media

Privacy and protection: key issues

The importance of user control

Who's got my data?

The fight for better protection

Social networking 3.0: the shape of things to come

The next big online opportunity?

The fight for revenues will get tougher

Can targeted advertising come to the rescue?

A softer, more subtle approach

New applications, new revenues?

The mobile opportunity

New audiences: getting closer to users

The draw of higher security sites

Special interest groups

More value, more revenue opportunities

Developing markets

Table of figures

Figure 1 Social networking: total visitors December 2006-December 2007

Figure 2 Average minutes per visitor: December 2006-December 2007

Table 1 MySpace versus Facebook usage

Table 2 Top online sites by genre where ads were placed, 18-24 February 2008

Table 3 Facebook demographic profile

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