The current proliferation of social media sites is the most pervasive phenomenon on the Internet today. Not since the dot.com explosion has the there been an Internet trend that is so widespread in its popularity. The comparison with the dot.com growth is in fact one that is made by many industry observers, and while there are a number of clear similarities, there are also some important differences.
It is expected that by early 2008, all the various social media sites will have more than 230 million members. That number is predicted to grow until 2009, with a leveling off on the number of new members expected by 2012.
The combined revenue from these sites, which in 2007 reached almost $970 million, is estimated to balloon to a whopping $2.4 billion by 2012.
Membership growth in social media sites varies greatly from region to region. The Asia Pacific region accounts for the lions share of users, with 35% of the total users expected by the end of 2007. EMEA accounts for about 28% of all users, North America follows closely with 25% percent, and the Caribbean and Latin America trails behind with 12% of all users.
With the inevitable crowding of the...