In just a few years, the “social” phenomenon has swept the globe, drawing more than 1.5 billion people into online social communities. One in five hours spent using the Internet is used to socialize, share information and content, and connect to communities of shared interest. More than two-thirds of corporations report using social technologies in their business, and consumer-facing companies are finding new ways to connect with consumers and generate rich new insights for product development and marketing purposes. In this report, the McKinsey Global Institute analyzes the potential economic impact of social technologies. Based on in-depth analyses of how social technology can be used in five economic sectors (four commercial sectors, plus the social sector), MGI has identified a series of value “levers” that can be applied across the value chain and within and across enterprises.