Making the most of social networking

41.7 million Europeans are regular users of social networking sites. They will be 107.4 million by the end of 2012. Europeans are using them to share personal and professional experiences, keep in contact with family and friends, and organise their social lives.

Social networking services are a reality and an opportunity. They offer services for the working professionals, for young kids, for the retired, for the medical workers or the holiday travellers.

Social networking sites are a place where creative online content is thriving. Sharing content is now easy, while creating content also gives users the power to make an active choice about their cultural and informational environment.

Users can shape information and create new forms of art.

Do you have a profile too?

* On average, European users spent 3 hours per month on social networking sites according to
* 107.4 million regular users of social networking sites by the end of 2012 in Europe
* 250.000 sign up to social networks every day worldwide

Europe-based sites are doing well

* Finland-based Sulake claims 158 million registered users and 16.5 million unique users worldwide visit Habbo each month (December 2009)
* France-based Dailymotion claims 60 million unique visitors
* Netlog (Belgium-based) claims 56 million members all over Europe

Why is the Commission active in this area?

* Because social networking sites represent economic opportunities for the European industry, and offer the whole society new ways to communicate and express creativity.
* Because social networking sites raise new issues with regard to privacy and the protection of minors.


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