Social Networking – solid market research from MetaFacts Technology User Profile

Extensive research information about social networking is available in TUP – Technology User Profile.

Social networking, like other forms of communication and community, is what makes technology usage expand.  People will always be on the lookout for new ways to communicate, whether it be with friends, strangers, or prospective colleagues.  The popularity of social networking sites can make ordinary phones and email less interesting to the modern consumer, increasing demand for smarter smartphones and faster Internet connections.

At the same time, privacy concerns, information overload, and innocent and criminal abuses can dampen the enthusiasm or participation for some market segments.

Below are a few examples of questions addressed in TUP related to social networking. The full TUP service enables drilling down beyond the answers to these questions to identify which other technologies, services and behaviors are disruptive and to profile which market segments are and aren’t adopting. TUP is much more than a one-dimensional market view or opinion piece; it’s a resource that can answer these and other key questions.

  • Which social networking sites are used most frequently by which segments?
  • What is the impact on privacy concerns in use of social networking?
  • How do ad volumes affect usage?
  • Is social networking only for certain age groups? How different are usage patterns by age?
  • How social-network active are the various tiers of gamers?
  • Who is videoconferencing, and using which platform?
  • Entertainment primacy – what is the center of the user’s home entertainment world? Is it one device or many? Which devices and services, and among which segments?
  • Is email being replaced by alternatives such as social networking, texting, or IM?
  • Which market segments are dating online? What else do they frequently do online?
  • What about the anti-social – those that aren’t in an online social network? Who are they?
  • Which social networking sites dominate? How does this vary by country and demographic group?
  • How much have PC users integrated PCs into their personal lives?
  • How has the division of work vs. personal use of technology products continued to blur?
  • What is the mix of communication products and services – landline, wireless, email, IM, etc. – by segment?
  • iPhone users – who are they really? How do they compare with Android, Windows and Blackberry users?
  • How many screens do people view? Which market segments view more screens than other segments?
  • Are PC users primarily accessing the Internet at home, in the workplace, using friends or neighbor’s computers, or in public places such as libraries or cybercafés? Which users use other’s PCs and which have many to choose from? Are smartphones or netbooks changing this?
  • Multitasking – who’s using lots of devices for lots of apps, few devices many apps, etc.?
  • How many online adults use dial-up to go online, and which countries stand out?
  • Which market segments are blogging? How do they compare to social networkers?
  • How much of the game-playing population is older versus younger?
  • How are users communicating, given all their communication options?
  • Do game players bring their gaming with them into the workplace? To what extent? Which market segment does this the most?
  • Age-related market adoption – which products and services are age-skewed? Which are skewed toward older rather than younger users?
  • What do users sync or “store” in the cloud? How does this differ between mobile phones and PCs? How do users share images – social networking sites or photo-specific sites? Which users are the most active?
  • Most-mobile customers – where they go and what they do
  • Is it really one to a customer? How often are PCs shared? Which market segments use more than one PC?
  • What about the unemployed? Are they more or are they less tech-focused?
  • Which smartphone OS is leading, and with which market segments?
  • How tech-sophisticated are game-players, within key gaming segments?
  • Which activities are different for dial-up than broadband? What’s driving bandwidth needs?
  • Who’s busiest – desktop users or notebook users? How do their profiles differ?
  • How central is game-playing to the general population? How about within certain key market segments?
  • How many seniors are online? How is their behavior different than younger online users?
  • To what extent does game-playing drive online usage specifically and tech usage overall?
  • Who is buying the highest-end PCs? Are there brand differences? What else do users buy and what else do they use?
  • Which segments are utilizing the cloud? For which activities?
  • What do most people do with their mobile phone as compared to their PC? Which align with which platforms?
  • Which segments have recently paid for a downloaded mobile phone app?
  • How important is privacy when getting rid of old computers?
  • Which tech buyers focus more on retail than shopping online and vice versa?
  • How many and which segments are watching and renting movies on which platforms?
  • How are smartphones challenging mobile PCs? Which market segments are coalescing around which platforms?
  • Primacy – what is the center of the user’s world? Their home PC, work PC, mobile phone? Is it one device or many?
  • Special printer paper? Who uses it and what for? Is it only photos, or something else?
  • Online shoppers – are they everyone, or unique?
  • How are users incorporating digital images, through the use of digital cameras, scanners, downloading images, as well as how are they producing output?
  • What are consumers planning to buy? (in consumer electronics, connected home, computers, Internet, etc.)
  • Tech adoption cycles may not be as fast as the tech-focused think. How many and which users still use film cameras?
  • How have PC/Online & Mobile Phone activities changed? How might this affect apps?
  • What is the tech-owning profile of active gamers? High-bandwidth or dial-up? Many consumer electronics entertainment products or focused on gaming? Many computers or few? How does this vary by segment?
  • Do users find their PCs to be more useful or less useful? Which users are the most practically-oriented?
  • How do online shopping activities differ between Hewlett Packard, Apple and Dell customers?
  • Who is using mobile payments?
  • Which industry groups have varied levels of adoption?
  • Netbooks – how soon and with which market segments?
  • When do you grow up and give up on your Apple? When do get one again, if you do?
  • How do the market segments of mobile phone platforms vary?
  • What other activities are just outside the box for gamers? Online dating? Social Networking? Music? Movies? Entertainment in general?
  • Which market segments are renting movies? Are they renting DVDs at a retailer, by mail, or at a kiosk? Do they watch them online?

If solid answers to any of these questions would help your work in creating the future, please contact MetaFacts.

MetaFacts, Inc. helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers.

Current subscribers of Technology User Profile may obtain this information directly from MetaFacts, as well as additional customized drilling down into the full dataset.

For more information on the results delivered in TUP and about how to subscribe, please contact MetaFacts.

The above questions are answered with the TUP 2010 edition, and even more questions are answered in the TUP 2011 edition.

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