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Social Networking Participation Still Growing


Online social networking participation is still growing. eMarketer estimates that in 2008 nearly 80 million people, 41 percent of the U.S. Internet user population, visited social network sites at least once a month, an 11 percent increase from 2007.

By 2013, an estimated 52 percent of Internet users will be regular social network visitors.

"The steady stream of social network updates and news is now a weekly -- or even daily -- habit for many online users," says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst. "That stickiness is good news for social networks."

Good news, because social networks have yet to develop viable revenue models. But, there is still time.

"Social network usage is not tapering off -- it is still growing," Ms. Williamson says. "Not only are more consumers joining social networks, but their level of involvement is deepening."

eMarketer projects that 79.7 million people, 40 percent of U.S. Internet users, will create content on social networks at least once a month in 2009, either by updating a profile or communicating publicly.

That activity represents 90.5 percent of social network users -- and a lot of ongoing engagement with social networking sites. "More users are more involved with social networking now than ever before," says Ms. Williamson.

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