More firms will look towards online reputation monitoring tools this year, E-consultancy has said in its latest report.

The Online Reputation and Buzz Monitoring Buyer’s Guide predicted that the market for brand monitoring technology and services will expand by almost a third this year, rising to a value of £60 million.

E-consultancy said that the prevalence of social content, coupled with advancements in monitoring technology that enable firms to delve into blogs, forums and social networking sites, will help the sector to flourish.

"Increasing media fragmentation, changing consumer behaviour and the increasing breadth of consumer channels are all trends which make it harder for brands and individuals to track their online reputation," remarked E-consultancy research head Linus Gregoriadis.

According to Kelly Spors of the Wall Street Journal, there is a possibility that online reputation management could make web users uncomfortable if it is too thorough.

She gave the example of Comcast, which is in the habit of contacting every person mentioning the firm on the internet.

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