Insurers relying on social media sites for customer intelligence may need to look elsewhere, according to new research released by the Pew Research Center. Approximately two-thirds (63%) of American adults say they currently maintain a profile on a social networking site, notes Pew, which may be a rich landscape for insurers who gather and analyze social data to cross-sell, up-sell and investigate claims. But as social network site users become more savvy, it may also present challenges.

As part of the Pew Internet & Life Project, the research organization released results of a recent survey revealing that nearly six out of every 10 (58%) adults who use social media say their main profile is set to be private so that only friends can see it; another 19% set their profiles to partially private so that friends of friends or networks can view them; 20% say their main profile is completely public.

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