Social Networking: Not profitable?

Back from the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego, I heard one thing over and over again, “Social Networking isn’t profitable.” This came as a shock to me, because all I have read lately has been about how Social Networking will be the new trend in marketing, and how in order to succeed you must invest in Social Networking sites. I wondered then, why was it that so many industry professionals were hating on Social Networking?

In a recent newsletter sent to me by mThink, I read that a “Twitter Feeding Frenzy” was coming. If Social Networking isn’t profitable, why would a frenzy ensue? If such a “frenzy” did occur it could be credited to the media. With so many media outlets pushing the idea of marketing through Social Networking sites, it is only natural that the masses would follow.

The new statistics out on Twitter don’t help the Social Networking nay sayers. The new data released by Twitter states that the site currently processes 50 million tweets per day. That means that 600 tweets are being sent per second. The growth rate itself has been astonishing. In 2007 there were only 5,000 tweets per day, and 2009 saw an increase in 1,400%.

Rumor has it that Twitter also plans to launch its own ad platform. If true, there would be a mad rush by advertisers to the site. Facebook already provides an ad platform, with strict qualification barriers. The true impact on revenue has yet to be seen. In the minds of affiliates and advertisers, social networking has yet to prove itself as a huge revenue building enterprise. Until then, be wearing of investing in such sites.

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