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Over the past couple of decades web sites have become the defacto way for businesses to show off their activities but according to IDC the world is changing and Facebook and other social networks have become a cheaper way of promotion.
What is driving the growth in social network use is the number of smaller firms without the budgets for website development and the growth in home-based businesses.
"Social networks have made online promotion less expensive and complicated, and Facebook and other social networks will become increasingly key players in empowering the marketing and commercial activity of home-based businesses," said Justin Jaffe, research manager for Small/Medium-Sized Business and Home Business Research at IDC.
The IDC research is based on a survey of the US market but many of the trends could be applicable to the UK and the growth of Facebook use and Twitter are as much a feature of this market as it is over the pond.