Is social networking a danger or a boon to radio?
Virtual communities and online social networking are providing a new medium for human connection; it’s a new media world for radio to operate in.
Market analyst Datamonitor says global active memberships in social networking sites are expected to hit 230 million by the end of this year-end 2007.
The report “”The Future of Social Networking: Understanding Market Strategic and Technological Developments,” says infrastructure providers, social network providers and wireless players stand to profit largely in the near term. It found that “explosive” growth in social networking will plateau by 2012 — and earlier for the United States.
The report also says media properties and other commercial entities will look to lock down the new “constellations” of audiences brought together by social networking services.
Additionally, the study found, market experimentation will continue as operators seek the best combination of features and functions as well as more sustainable operational models. But, it adds, sites themselves will not necessarily consolidate; special interest social networking services will continue to play a role.
“As the market becomes more crowded, it will become harder for social networking sites to remain independent. Acquisition can solve scalability issues, improve content and search capabilities, and extend visibility and research,” concludes Ri Pierce-Grove, author of the report.