The use of social networking sites by wealthy online consumers has risen dramatically in just a year, new figures show.

According to the Luxury Institute’s latest wealth survey, The Wealthy and Web 2.0, the participation of well-to-do web users in social networks has risen from a mere 27 per cent in 2007 to 60 per cent in 2008.

On average, wealthy online consumers were members of 2.8 social networks, with an average of 110 connections.

Some 16 per cent were members of MySpace, 13 per cent for LinkedIn and 11 per cent for Facebook.

However, 65 per cent of wealthy consumers said that giving out personal data without permission will cause them to disconnect, while 63 per cent voiced an interest in “do not track” lists.

The results indicate that online communities will continue to fragment into increasingly selective and specialised entities of like-minded members, which should make it easier to reach target markets, the Luxury Institute said.

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