May 27, 2010: According to a new study conducted by eMarketer, more than two-thirds of internet users will browse social networking sites by 2014.
The usage of social network sites has exploded over the past years. In 2008, 41.6 percent of internet users visited social networking sites. Two years later, that number jumped by nearly 16 points to 57.5 percent. Over the next four years, that number will jump again to 65.8 percent, indicates the new report from eMarketer.
"There is no doubt anymore that social networks, reaching more than 50 percent of the total U.S. internet audience, are an essential part of the internet experience,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report.
Social networking sites are no longer just popular among teenagers and young adults either, reports eMarketer. The site indicates that by 2014, more than half of the 55-64 age group will use social media at least once per month, for example.
While the use of social media as a B2C advertising tool is obvious, it can be used for B2B online marketing purposes as well. According to a recent survey from White Horse, 86 percent of B2B firms are using social media to market their services. Many B2B companies used podcasts and forums to connect with their audiences, says the survey.