The growth of social networks significantly contributed to the effectiveness of viral marketing. As of 2009, two thirds of the world's Internet population visits a social networking service or blog site at least every week. Facebook alone has over 1 billion active users. In 2009, time spent visiting social media sites began to exceed time spent emailing. A 2010 study found that 52% of people who view news online forward it on through social networks, email, or posts.
However, this comes back to the old discussion of pain versus pleasure. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. When our backs are against the wall, we act. When they're not, we relax. The truth is that the pain-versus-pleasure paradigm only operates in the short term. We'll only avoid pain in the here and now. Often not in the long term.
If an investor puts $500,000 into a candy store with the agreement that the owners would pay the investor a percentage of earnings, that would be considered passive income as long as the investor does not participate in the operation of the business in any meaningful way other than placing the investment. The IRS states, however, that if the investor did help manage the company with the owners, the investor's income could be seen as active since the investor provided "material participation."
Viral marketing or viral advertising is a business strategy that uses existing social networks to promote a product. Its name refers to how consumers spread information about a product with other people in their social networks, much in the same way that a virus spreads from one person to another. It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks.