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1. Joining the social matrix
Social technologies are much more than a consumer phenomenon: they connect many organizations internally and increasingly reach outside their borders. Social features, meanwhile, can become part of any digital communication or transaction—embedded in products, markets, and business systems. Users can “like” things and may soon be able to register what they “want,” facilitating new levels of commercial engagement. Indeed, our research suggests that when social perceptions and user experiences (both individual and collective) matter in product selection and satisfaction, the potential impact of social technologies on revenue streams can be pronounced. We are starting to see these effects in sectors ranging from automobiles to retailing as innovative companies mine social experiences to shape their products and services.