“Social networking is not a fashion. It’s a whole new communication medium,” says Victor Kong, vp and managing director, Latin America and US Hispanics, MySpace/Fox Interactive.
A recent study conducted by Myspace, revealed that, after the cell phone, the most common communication medium for youth aged 15-24 was not through email, but through a social network. Mr Kong attributes this to the relative ease of communicating to a large group of friends through a social network: “If someone is going to have a party, it’s much easier to write one message and click ‘Send to all friends’ than to write or call each one individually.”
Right now, the bulkof MySpace Latin America’s user base—approximately 72%— is aged 15-24. The 60 million MySpace users in Latin America download approximately 70,000 videos per day. “Seventy percent of all 15-34 year olds use their Socail Networking Site at all hours of the day; these users log 800 page views per month, per user. On average, they are active on their site of preference 3-4 hours a day,” says Kong.
Why are Social Networking Sites So Popular?
According to Mr. Kong, “Numerous studies have shown that the primary reason users are online is to be part of a group, while maintaining their own individual identity. The social networking platform is ideally suited to these seemingly contradictory aims.” Other reasons cited by Latin American Myspace users was to enrich existing relationships, such as looking someone up and “friending” them after first meeting them, or keeping in touch with friends. Lastly, and of most interest to advertisers, Myspace found that a major reason that its Latin American users were suing their site was to make meaningful brand connections. Kong points to a recent instance, where the shoemaker Adidas ran a campaign on the site and within weeks, the logo that it had made available had been incorporated onto over 100,000 user webpages.
Mr. Kong asserts that the social networking phenomenon is only going to become more ubiquitous and will not be viewed as a phenomenon at all, but part of day-to-day reality for millions of youth and adults.
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