Social Networking Forecast and Facebook’s Asia Commitment

We all know that social networking is now a regular part of modern life, you just cant escape from it. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Skype, Youtube, Foursquare and Bebo are just a few of the many services we use everyday. So what will it be like in the next 5 years?

Predictions have told us that by the end of 2015, the number of internet users around the world that are on social networking sites will explode to 1.85 billion! Currently there are 900 million of us around the world and this will have at least doubled in 5 years time. According to Communication Solutions, there is already a big regional difference between users when it comes to using social networks. It has been discovered that “less than 40 percent of Internet users in Asia were regular social network users at the end of 2009”. A majority of users came from North America and Western Europe who made up over 60%.

This situation in Asia has raised a concern for Facebook as they did not dominate that particular region in the way they did with the West. The Western countries have all helped themselves to a slice of Facebook’s social pie and as a result have made them immensely popular; however if they want to still be the dominant force 5 years from now they need to make a serious commitment to getting more Asian countries on board as their population is growing so quickly. Google Me is in the works and this should be even more reason for Facebook to get a majority of another massive region on their side in order to beat off any challenge the search engine tries to use to overhaul them.

It is strongly expected that the main source of profit for social sites will be generated via advertising; however with virtual goods such as costumes for avatars, accessories and virtual in game currency also being shifted, revenue is set to be at an all time high. Research has estimated that 9% of income is thanks to virtual goods in North America and 22% in Asia this year. You can see that the Asians are spending more money so now Facebook especially will want to make them their most important customers.

How popular do you think social networking will be in 2015 when we have a much larger population? Will it be even greater or will the trend wear off? Leave us your comments on what you think.