TechCrunch

For those of you who get frustrated with the idea that in many social networks, you are not just a user but also a product, prepare to grit your teeth a bit more: a new forecast out from Gartner notes that advertising will remain the main way that social media services make money. The analysts predict that this year social media revenue will generate $16.9 billion in revenues, with more than half of that, $8.8 billion, to come from advertising. The estimates are coming out on the same day that social gaming giant Zynga is reporting earnings, and days before Facebook posts its results.

That $16.9 billion figure represents a rise of 43 percent over last year, when social media services like Facebook, Spotify, Twitter and more generated $11.8 billion in revenues. While sales will continue to grow at fast clip, however, Gartner notes that the user base of…

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