IDC Predicts Rapid Expansion of Social Networking Application Market with 120% Growth in 2007

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 5, 2007 – The social networking application market was relatively small in 2006, coming in at $46.8 million, a new study published by IDC reports. By 2009, however, this market will grow to $428.3 million creating a new application segment and establishing social networking as a new communications tool used for many purposes other than consumer socializing.

"Social networking is the new must-have communication application and is being used for both marketing and operational efficiency," said Rachel Happe, research manager for the Digital Business Economy at IDC. "Social networking applications drive engagements, information exposure, and conversions as well as reducing marketing and operational costs."

There are three social networking segments emerging, IDC's research indicates. These include: self-service applications used by groups and marketing campaign teams; brand applications that focus on persistent customer engagement; and enterprise applications that provide more effective ways of working with customers, partners, and other external parties.

IDC believes the social networking application market will grow rapidly over the next three years and then level off as the majority of large companies likely to deploy social networking eventually do so.

Other key findings from IDC's study include the following:

* The social networking applications market will grow quickly over the next three years and continue to grow, but at a slower pace, after 2011.

* Social networking application vendors will continue to emerge over the next two years, particularly those focused on vertical applications.

* As the market develops, social networking functionality will be built into core communication platforms like email and instant messaging (IM) applications and the market, particularly the enterprise segment, will consolidate.

This IDC study, Social Networking Application Market Overview and Forecast, (IDC #208313) provides both a qualitative overview of the social networking market and a quantitative forecast of the social networking application market. The qualitative overview includes vendor profiles and a discussion of market dynamics, gathered through vendor and customer interviews as well as supporting secondary research. The report also includes essential guidance for buyers and vendors of the social networking applications.

Meet with Rachel Happe and members of IDC's Digital Marketplace research team at an IDC Digital Marketplace briefing at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame, California on Thursday, October 18, 2007. To learn more about this event and how you can register, contact Caroline Dangson at cdangson@idc.com.

To purchase this document, call IDC's Sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email sales@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com .

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