Global membership of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace will reach 230 million by the end of the year, says a report out today.
Industry analyst Datamonitor says that social networking is growing in every country where people have internet connections.
Figures released in the summer revealed that social networking sites had enjoyed phenomenal growth in the UK.
Facebook has grown a massive 366 per cent since the start of the year and attracted an audience of 7.6 million unique visitors in July.
But the explosive growth in such sites is not set to last, according to Datamonitor.
It says membership will peak in 2009 and level out by 2012.
Report author Ri Pierce-Grove of Datamonitor said: ‘For social networking services, barriers to entry are virtually non-existent, and both competition and innovation are ferocious.
‘Users have a vast array of options, from Titanic generalists like MySpace and Facebook to tiny individual networks on DIY platforms like Ning. This year revenues from social networking services should reach $965 million (£473 million) growing to $2.4 billion (£1.18 billion) by 2012.’