Social networks have exploded in popularity in the past year.

More than 4 in 10 (43%) among those who are online now use social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn—up from 27% a year ago—according to the Consumer Internet Barometer,  a quarterly report produced by the Conference Board and TNS.

Among the other findings of the study:

  • More than half of social networkers log on at least once a day, and the majority log on several times a day.
  • Interacting with family, friends, and celebrities are among the main reasons people log on to social-networking sites.
  • Most users log on at home, although a quarter of social networkers log on at work, and 10% connect through their phone.
  • Social networking spans all generations: About 19% of those age 55 and over visit these sites, up from just 6% a year ago.
  • Women are more likely than men to use social networking sites (48% versus 38%), but usage has increased dramatically among both groups in just a year.

[Join thought-leader Charlene Li for a MarketingProfs seminar, "The Art of Social Media: It's All About The Relationships," on Thursday, July 16, 2009, 12pm Eastern. This seminar kicks off a series of eight seminars focused on adding social media to your marketing mix. MarketingProfs Premium Plus members have access to the entire series! ]

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