Theres been a lot of talk (myself included) for about 6 months now in the improving prominence of Social Media. Everyone seemed to warm up to the likes of Facebook in 2007 here in the UK. And we now have Social Media panels at the likes of SES and SMX conferences now. I had been a member for over 6 months on Facebook with no volume of interaction with it. But suddenly in a 6 week period around June/July time there was an explosion of interest and everyone wanted to be your friend!
I think the market can see the value and requirements to be as Search Marketers looking at strategies to integrate a social product as a string to the bow and be able to offer advertising insight to tap into a new market place.
I have always been trying to quantify the value of taking the time to position some marketing solutions and some statistics published yesterday by Hitwise really hit home the culture change here in the UK.
For the fist time last month, UK visits to social network websites was more than visits to web-based email services. The Hitwise chart below shows, a line for social networks, which includes Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, accounted for 5.17% of all UK Internet visits, compared to 4.98% for Email, which includes Hotmail; Yahoo! Mail and Gmail as the main factors.
This gives some real concrete information that Social has had a very speedy growth within the UK market and all projections say it will continue to climb as the mentality it seems is to drop your friends a quick Facebook message rather than send them an email these days.
For me the ironic thing is that you get an email notifying you when you have received a Facebook message.
So on that basis email can never die! ;0)