Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/25/social_networking_study/

Social networkers lack loyalty: report

Many court other sites on the side

By Emmet Ryan

Posted in Broadband, 25th June 2007 10:30 GMT

Social networking users tend to get around, as they say, and not stay faithful to one network, according to a new study.

The report, Web 2.0 & the New Net, by research group Parks Associates, found that MySpace users are chronically unfaithful. The survey found that nearly 40 per cent of MySpace users keep profiles on other social networking sites, such as Friendster and Facebook.

Meanwhile, loyalty among the smaller social networking sites is even lower, with more than 50 per cent of all users actively maintaining multiple profiles.

A straw poll in the offices of ElectricNews.net matched this pattern, with roughly half staying loyal to one social network while the remainder had multiple accounts.

According to Parks these trends highlight a peculiar aspect of the market for social networking services. The report found that nearly half of all social networkers regularly use more than one site, while one in six use three or more.

Parks said the result of its findings is that users are operating in an increasingly interlinked online environment, which is tied together by links, widgets, and the users themselves.

"MySpace is a growing ecosystem and one that, ironically, now extends beyond MySpace itself," said John Barrett, the lead author of the report.

In Barrett's view, this environment creates fertile ground for new social networking sites and application providers.

"A handful of users are all it takes to connect new services to the MySpace-centred environment. From there it can begin to spread virally, assuming of course that it offers something people want," he said.

© 2007 ENN