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They-network-to-keep-in-touch!
ST Team
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
What is the reason for you to join a social networking site? Befriending people whom you never met? Or availing a platform where members from different backgrounds will share their views and thoughts? Or keeping in touch with your friends? If the third one is your answer, you are on the majority side.

According to a survey conducted recently in India by The Nielsen Company, keeping in touch with people one knows is the strongest reason for a person to join a social networking site. A vast majority of respondents, 82 percent, agree with this.

The survey found that while 58 percent joined such a site to reconnect with old acquaintances they have lost touch with, making new friends is the reason for 53 percent to network on this platform. A considerable 43 percent would like to network for professional reasons.

"The biggest advantage of a social networking site is that it helps you build the network with friends, business associates, and people with similar interests. In this global era, social networking sites are bringing people closer together and helping them to interact and share their thoughts within the group, no matter where in the world they are," said N.S.Muthukumaran, Director, Online Research, The Nielsen Company.

Three quarters of Indian respondents have been using social networking websites for two or more years and two-thirds spend more than half an hour on each session. All had a very positive attitude towards social networking websites. The majority, 71 percent, considers social networking sites to be cool, but 66 percent believes that social networking sites are no substitute for actual face-to-face meetings with friends. However, 43 percent of respondents even consider it safe to meet people face-to-face whom they have already met online.

A majority of users even believe in revealing their real identity on social networking sites, while 68 percent of the respondents are found using alternate identities on sites, citing security reasons. Meanwhile 35 percent chose to use an alternate identity ‘just for fun’.

Nielsen did the survey by using its online research panel ‘Your Voice’.

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