Though some industry experts have concerns about the longevity of social networking sites because of revenue streams, consumers of all ages are spending more time visiting them.
These sites garnered nearly 20% of all visits by Internet users in January 2007 but that percentage dropped to about 14% by February of 2008.
In general, per-visit time spent on these sites has been growing. Facebook users routinely spend 20 minutes each time they log on to check their site. While younger consumers make up the majority of traffic on these sites, older consumers are finding reasons to join as well, especially from a professional networking angle. All of the excitement has site owners thinking of ways to segment the audience by age and geographic region in order to sell more ad space to marketers.
To date, the industries which most benefit from traffic generated by social networking sites and which may benefit from advertising on these sites include entertainment, education and sports. If your client harbors few concerns about content control, a marketing campaign on a social networking site may help to boost awareness and revenues.[Sources: Hitwise Social Networking Report, March 2008; Frank, Andrew. "Will Economics Kill the UGC Star?" Gartner group, 11.13.2008]