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Online Social Network Ads to be $1.9B Market

Measuring advertising spending on social network sites is as much of a work in progress as online social networking itself. With so much of the business being created almost on the fly, there is very little concrete detail on which to pin an estimate.

EMarketer estimates that marketers will spend $280 million advertising on online social networks in the U.S. in 2006. The largest chunk of that spending will go toward MySpace, which eMarketer estimates will generate $180 million in U.S. ad revenue this year.

EMarketer projects that, by 2010, U.S. online social network advertising will be a $1.9 billion market. This rapid growth assumes that marketers will embrace the one-to-one-to-many style of marketing that social networks make possible. Obviously, the figure also reflects aggressive growth projections that Wall Street analysts have set for MySpace.

While most analysts view the consumer-oriented sites, like MySpace, as the most likely to benefit from this shift in ad spending, I believe that sites like LinkedIn also have an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to marketers how they can engage repeat business-oriented visitors.

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