December is upon us – time to sit back and reflect on the passing year. Ok now that’s over with lets look forward to something ‘big’ happening in 2007. How about the rise of social networking sites in the Asian market?
Social networking sites are becoming big money and more importantly for marketers, it is a new form of communication for the youth and marketers can’t afford to miss that ship. A new eMarketer report forecasts U.S ad spending on social networking sites ballooning up to US$2.2 billion ($3.4 billion) by 2010. In Asia, the figure would be much less and so 2007 could be the year where the Asian market gets comfortable with social networking sites.
Developments in the coming year should kick start this process and a key player in this appears to be News Corp and its Fox Interactive Media division – which has My Space, the second largest site on the Web in its arsenal.
MySpace can already distribute newly released DVDs and even lets users sell their own music over the site – and in the coming weeks an announcement is expected for a deal allowing millions of additional users access to their accounts from mobile phones.
The potential is there but the environment is far from perfect and many advertisers will be turned away by the some times raunchy content on the sites but in my opinion, once advertisers see the plus sides to the social networking sites, and jump on for the ride – more and more will follow suit, especially if their competitor is already there.