In a workshop on social networking, Jay Stevens, vice –president of sales and operations, EMEA, at Fox’s MySpace revealed how this form of web engagement was changing the lives of people online and offline.
Stevens revealed the results of MySpace research into users in the UK and US. Young people today have grown up with the computer revolution so are entirely familiar with uploading content and blogging and see social networking as a means of self-expression. “It’s about a digital persona,’ said Stevens.
MySpace research showed 32% of users surveyed use social networking to keep in touch with friends and family, 25% are consumers and 9% “connectors’ who also go to other linked sites.
About 25% had discovered a new band or artist on the site, 14% said they found a new best friend (some a new marriage partner) and 11% were “entrepreneurs’ who made money on the site.
Those who said they had more fun in life in general thanks to MySpace were 48% and 45% said it had made life more exciting. On average, users were watching two hours a week less TV in order to be online. Asked what they would choose to do if they had 15 minutes of extra time, just over 11% chose social networking as well as talking on the mobile phone. Interestingly, in the UK the percentage of networkers rose to 28%.
And the good news for marketers is that the 160 million unique social network users in Europe represent a massive advertising opportunity.