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Social Networking Profiles are Misleading Advertisers

Posted on 9.19.2007
Have you ever entered a false age, name or location when signing up for a website? Do you think that doing so would keep Big Brother or hackers from knowing too much about you? You're not alone.

A study out of the UK and conducted by emedia's RapidResearch service reveals that 31% of UK social networkers have entered false information about themselves because to protect their identities.

This is fairly significant. Especially on the heels of a MySpace announcement that they will start targeting ads based on user profile information. An advertiser could think they are hitting their target audience, but perhaps as many as a third of their ads could be missing the mark.

Another interesting tidbit from the study shows that 87% of respondents think social networking sites can be used for business purposes. However, of those, just 11% reported doing just that, while 67% contact old friends and reinforce existing friendships. It seems that, at least in the UK, social networking is still overwhelmingly a social activity and not so much a business tool.
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