Survey finds social networking users have little loyalty

LONDON - Many users of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook feel no obligation to restrict themselves to one site, according to a report.

Research by market research firm Parks Associates suggests nearly half of all social networkers regularly use more than one site and one in six use three or more.

Nearly 40% of MySpace users also keep profiles on other social networking sites such as Friendster and Facebook. Loyalty among the smaller social networking sites is reported to be even lower, with more than 50% of all users actively maintaining multiple profiles.

John Barrett, author of the 'Web 2.0 & the New Net' report, said this has resulted in an interlinked environment, tied together by links, widgets and the users themselves.

Barrett, said: "MySpace is a growing ecosystem and one that ironically now extends beyond MySpace itself."

Barrett suggests that this environment creates fertile ground for new social networking sites and application providers.

He said: "A handful of users are all it takes to connect new services to the MySpace-centred environment. From there it can begin to spread virally, assuming of course that it offers something people want."

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