Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Obvious to many but nice to have it officially

Mildly off-topic, but we’re here at the Periodical Publishers’ Association annual conference in London today, taking in – inevitably – reams of material about Web 2.0.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects to come out of the day – which travel companies can relate to – is the publication of research about the popularity of social networking and Web 2.0 sites.

The study by Booz Allen Hamilton found 50% of online users visited sites such as MySpace, Wikipedia, Friendster, Hi5, YouTube, Second Life and Flickr.

In the UK the figure was slightly less than the average (41%), while the US (71%) and Germany (73%) lead the way. Germany loves Wikipedia, apparently...

“Contrary to popular belief”, the survey says, social networking and Web 2.0 is not the preserve of young blokes.

Sites such as Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube have a 50-50 split between men and women, for example.

In terms of age, almost a quarter of visitors to Web 2.0 sites fall into the 35 to 49 age bracket.

A fascinating part of the research (and a crucial one for travel brands) is in the area of user recommendations.

The survey found 50% of users use tips from online acquaintances or friends to make purchasing decisions. In the Middle East this figure soars to an astonishing to 84%...

Interestingly, around 40% are happy to take advice from anonymous sources.

As the power of user generated reviews and recommendations grows, mainstream marketing messages continue to be challenged.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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James Allen said...

Really interesting figures, Kevin. Is the report anywhere online? Would be good to read in more depth...

Travolution Blogger said...

James: you can read more here

James Allen said...

Thanks Kevin

Joe Buhler said...

Compared with another recent study that showed only about 8% or so of visitors to social media/networking site actually posting and expressing opinions, this shows that increasingly a relatively small number of active participants have considerable influence over the buying behavior of many.