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Challenge-2 0-Social-Networking-Drives-New-Requirements

Challenge-2 0-Social-Networking-Drives-New-Requirements

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Published by: Insideout on May 05, 2008
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05/09/2014

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 White Paper
Challenge 2.0: Social NetworkingDrives New Requirements
Prepared byAditya KishoreSenior Analyst,
Heavy Reading 
 www.heavyreading.com On behalf ofwww.level3.com 
December 2007 
 
 © HEAVY READING | DECEMBER 2007 | WHITE PAPER | CHALLENGE 2.0: SOCIAL NETWORKINGDRIVES NEW REQUIREMENTS
 
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Introduction
Social networking is exploding. In October 2007, Alexa found that 7 of the top 10 most visitedWebsites globally were Web 2.0 sites. A month earlier, ComScore reported that MySpace, withmore than 55 million unique visitors, is still growing at a healthy rate of 23% year over year. Overthe same time period, Facebook increased its number of unique visitors by 129% and Bebo grew83%. But the fastest growth came from Imeem, which boasted year-over-year growth of 1,590%.That's an astounding 16 times the number of unique visitors the site had last September.Nor is this phenomenon restricted to the U.S.: Research by the Oxford Internet Institute in March-April 2007 showed that 17% of U.K. Internet users have created a profile on a social networkingsite. In India, 51% of online urban adults use social networking sites and sites such as Orkut andFacebook now account for 44% of time online, with more than 11 million Indians getting hookedon them, according to the India Online 2007 survey. Home-grown sites such as GoYaar are alsoemerging in India, to tap into the potential of social networking. In China, sites such as Zhanzuo,Xiaonei, Yeejee, ChinaRen Xiaonei, and 5Q are attracting millions of members from the youngergeneration. And Morgan Stanley research has determined that Brazil has the highest usage ofsocial networking sites in the world.Data from U.K. regulatory body Ofcom, presented in
Figure 1
, illustrates that people all aroundthe world are using the Internet for social interaction.
Figure 1: The Increasing Popularity of Social Interaction Using the Internet
Source: Ofcom ICMR, 2006 
What's Driving This Growth?
A number of factors have converged to push social networking past the Gladwellian "tippingpoint." These factors include:1.
Online Multimedia:
The digitization of media content has made the Internet a viablechannel for the distribution of all types of media. According to the February-April 2007wave of the Pew Internet & American Life Project Tracking Survey, 57% of online adultshave used the Internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a typical day. Andaccording to a joint study conducted by Arbitron and Edison Media research in 2006,weekly Internet radio and video audiences have each increased 50% over the last year.This familiarity with online media consumption is also facilitating the creation and sharingof personal digital media – an important driver of social network usage.
 
 © HEAVY READING | DECEMBER 2007 | WHITE PAPER | CHALLENGE 2.0: SOCIAL NETWORKINGDRIVES NEW REQUIREMENTS
 
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2.
Broadband Access:
More than half of all U.S. households now have broadband, and asubstantial base of households are now using broadband around the world, as demon-strated by data from the OECD, presented in
Figure 2
. Broadband speed encouragesonline activity, and the always-on access and faster downloads improve the Web experi-ence for users. Broadband subscribers are likely to spend more time online than dialupsubscribers, and are also more likely to view multimedia content.
Figure 2: Global Broadband Subscribers
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2006 Excluded for scale: Japan (25,755,080 subscribers); U.S. (58,136,577 subscribers)
3.
Digital Media Production Tools:
The ubiquity of digital cameras and cameraphones isalso helping the growth of social networking. Nokia alone sold 140 million cameraphonesin 2006. Social networks facilitate photo sharing by making it easy to upload them to yourprofile page; that's why 1.7 billion photographs are stored on Facebook and 60 million areuploaded weekly. Similarly, digital camcorders and videophones facilitate video creation,and video editing tools such as Apple's iMovie are enabling post-production capabilitiespreviously limited to professional suites. More than 65,000 videos are posted to YouTubeevery day, and many social networking sites also allow members to embed videos.

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