Yesterday (the 19th) the New York Times Magazine had an interesting little quote at the bottom of page 40 from Cameron Marlow, the head of the Facebook data science team :
"Given that there's a population of 250 million people or more logging every day, it seems ridiculous that you would try to get in touch with them through a phone...so it seems like it's improbable that social media won't be the way that we acquire opinion research."
LinkedIn for a while had an idea about using their members as a panel for MR, not certain if that is still going on. It is all about monetizing, in the end the venture capitalists have to be paid somehow. They want their return.
Facebook does have a lot of members. It has to be the logical thing to start using them for market research. Will they become the worlds largest, most comprehensive panel ? Sell access ? Do a deal with a panel company ?
Is 2011 the year FB will move into MR ?