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58% of people don’t even know what social networking is: Study

According to a study conducted by market research firm Synovate across 17 countries including India, 58% of people don’t even know what social networking is. The study also reveals that while 26 per cent of people across the markets surveyed are members of social networking sites, over one third of social networkers are losing interest.

According to a study conducted by market research firm Synovate across 17 countries including India, 58% of people don’t even know what social networking is. The study also reveals that while 26 per cent of people across the markets surveyed are members of social networking sites, over one third of social networkers are losing interest.

The findings are based on a global survey conducted in June 2008. The survey covered more than 13,000 respondents aged 18-65 years in 17 markets around the world — Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States of America (US).

“When you are in the world of marketing — reading about it, planning campaigns, researching people — it’s sometimes easy to overlook the basics. So we started our study by simply asking ‘do you know what online social networking is?’” Steve Garton, global head of media research for Synovate, has said.

“And that’s where our first myth was debunked. It turns out social networking is not taking over the world. Well, not yet anyway,” Steve Garton adds. “Of course this is a reflection of the wide age groups covered in our survey. It’s a different story if you only look at younger people.”

The study also found that some markets seemed to favour multiple memberships and some seemed to stick to one or two major ones. The markets where social networking aficionados favour signed up for many sites are UAE, India, Indonesia, and Bulgaria.

Surprisingly, only 19 per cent of the respondents from India who are members of social networking sites agreed that online social networking has its dangers. About 57% of respondents from India said they were comfortable giving out personal details on social networking sites.

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20 thoughts on “58% of people don’t even know what social networking is: Study”

  1. It looks like this study
    It looks like this study while making an attempt to start with the basics has completely overlooked the most basic question which perhaps should have been the foundation of the study itself.
    “Define Social Networking ?”

    The opening survey question of asking people “do you know what online social networking is?” makes a fatal assumption that those who say no in fact do not participate in social networking.

    This brings us back to my initial point. “Define what is social networking?”
    Is social networking the online version of SMS provided by Twitter ?
    Is it a wealth of application sharing on Facebook and Orkut ?
    Is it professional networking like Linkedin ?
    Is it simply posting a comment on someones blog ?
    I would say yes to all of the above and more.

    Social networking is in fact a broad term which is perhaps best defined as mediums of online interaction and exchange of ideas.
    As a matter of fact by placing this comment I am participating in a form of social networking. However would we categorize Alootechie as a social networking site ? probably not. Yet through it’s news and blogs Alootechie offers multiple mediums of social networking.

    Most experts in human behavioral psychology would confirm that humans are social creatures. As long as people continue to be human it is inevitable that we will continue to interact with each other. Social networking means online interaction and exchange of ideas between both individuals and groups. It does not necessarily mean mean “are you a member of site XYZ labeled social networking”. The mediums may evolve over time but the activity which has only grown over the last few hundred years will only continue to grow.

    Social media is a complex subject with deep roots in human behavioral psychology. It is a subject which takes many years to comprehend.

    It would seem that this “Global Survey” has completely missed the point.

    In any case this is just my point of view. Perhaps I’m right, perhaps I’m wrong.

    Team ChillX

  2. A parallel survey was
    A parallel survey was recently conducted across a sample of many hundred million people spanning every country in the world. The survey includes data gathered over a span of 3 years.

    This survey shows the exact opposite of the Synovate survey. It shows that in fact social networking has grown exponentially between Jan 2006 and May 2008 after which the growth rate has flat-lined possibly indicating market saturation.

    Survey results can be found at

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=social+networking

    This survey was conducted by me in a span of 3 seconds at absolutely no cost to myself 🙂

  3. I am not surprised with this
    I am not surprised with this new findings.Concept of Social Networking is not more than 1-2 yrs old in india.So it is quite justified.

  4. While social networking has
    While social networking has gone on almost as long as societies themselves have existed, the unparalleled potential of the Internet to promote such connections is only now being fully recognized and exploited, through Web-based groups established for that purpose.

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