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Jupiter: Social Networks Awash in Behavioral Data

Social networks like MySpace and Facebook are sitting on a treasure trove of behavioral information, according to one Jupiter analyst, reports ClickZ.

The guidance comes from JupiterResearch analyst Kevin Heisler on the heels of the release of Jupiter's US Online Advertising Forecast. Heisler opines that while social networks such as MySpace have used the member data it has in ad sales and targeting to some extent, it's nowhere close to maximizing its potential.

While ad revenue growth at these sites is happening, Heisler and others feel the targeting potential inherent in these networks has yet to be tapped to the extent possible.

But the sites are forced to walk a line between using this data for ad targeting and protecting the privacy of members. Failing to do so, or making moves that blatantly sacrifice privacy for revenue, could lead to user defection, something social networks fear.

Behavioral targeting, Jupiter's report says, will be a major factor driving overall online ad growth. Social networks aside, targeting technology is seen as a catalyst for future growth in the industry.

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