Businesses identify Web 2.0 as ‘critical’ or ‘important’

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It might sound obvious, but businesses are increasingly relying on blogs, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to bring in revenue.

A new report, conducted in the USA and Canada, has identified an increase over two years in the number of companies relying on the web for marketing activities.

Between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of companies that found their corporate blog ‘important’ or ‘critical’ increased from 52% to 62%. On the same scale, Facebook increased from 24% to 44%, largely down to the increased functionality of Facebook Pages and the Facebook API. Twitter’s score almost doubled, from 21% to 38% – in the same timeframe, the company has increased 10-fold in size and while Twitter remains tight-lipped about the actual figures, we estimate that the number of users is now around 230m.

YouTube has also taken a giant leap forward, with almost half of companies now relying on the video sharing website (44%), up from a quarter two years ago. Video is an extremely powerful medium and most big corporates use it every day.

Interestingly, some figures are down – Flickr, the photo sharing website, is considered less important as a proportion of the total, as is MySpace, perhaps predictably. The social bookmarking sites have also taken a hit – Digg and StumbleUpon are down dramatically – perhaps they were just a fad after all.