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Business Use of Social Media Surges

December 18, 2009

The use of Facebook, Twitter, and blogs for business purposes has skyrocketed in the last six months—with indications of wider adoption and more frequent sessions, according to research by Palo Alto Networks into application traffic patterns of computer networks.

Facebook is the dominant social networking site in the workplace: 94% of companies used Facebook over the past six months (ended September 2009), compared with 37% six months ago, finds the Application Usage and Risk Report (Fall Edition, 2009).

Sessions consumed per organization by Facebook users increased 192% during the period, while bandwidth consumption jumped 294% to 6.3GB per organization, indicating more frequent or longer periods of use, Palo Alto Networks found.

Below, additional findings from the study.

The prevalence of LinkedIn among business users increased to 89%, compared with 35% six months ago. Bandwidth consumption declined 42%, however, and session consumption declined 22%, indicating less frequent or shorter periods of use.

Twitter is the most popular instant messaging application in the workplace: 89% of companies used Twitter, compared with 35% six months ago.

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Sessions consumed per organization by Twitter users increased 252% over the previous six months, indicating more frequent periods of use, while bandwidth consumption jumped 775% to 184 MB per organization, even though tweets are limited to just 140 characters.

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