IDC projects rapid growth in social networking application market

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Framingham, Mass.—The social networking application market will grow from $46.8 million last year to $428.3 million in 2009, according to a report from research company IDC.

“Social networking is the new must-have communication application and is being used for both marketing and operational efficiency,” said Rachel Happe, research manager at IDC’s Digital Business Economy group.

IDC found three social networking segments that are emerging: self-service applications used by groups and marketing campaign teams; brand applications that focus on customer engagement; and enterprise applications that provide more effective ways of working with customers, partners and other external parties.

As social networking grows over the next two years, application developers will continue to emerge, particularly in areas focused on vertical applications, the report found.

IDC also projects that as the market develops, social networking functionality will be built into core communication platforms such as e-mail and instant messaging.

—Kate Maddox

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