Social networking users are most satisfied with site performance and least satisfied with the amount of ads on the sites, per recent research. But youth seem largely unfazed by ad loads, according to recent data released by Forrester Research.
In fact, only about 1 in 10 teen (12-17) users of Instagram (11%) and Snapchat (11%) believe that those social networks have too many ads.
Of the 5 major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest – it’s the first that users are the most likely to feel has the most ads. But even so, only about one-quarter (26%) of teen Facebook users feel that the platform shows too many ads.
Forrester argues that this means that there’s plenty of room for increased ad loads on these platforms, lending more justification to their forecast of global social ad spending growing at a 18.2% compound annual rate over the next 5 years.
Rapid ad spending growth has certainly been the case for Facebook. Recent analyses we have performed show that Facebook’s average revenue per user (ARPU) has doubled in the US and Canada in just the past 2 years. Moreover, Facebook’s ad revenue in the US and Canada has consistently expanded at a rate 10 times faster than its audience growth (measured as MAUs).
While Facebook has cautioned that it expects its ad revenue growth rates to decline given concerns about ad loads, Snapchat and Instagram don’t seem to be facing those pressures. Instagram has been ramping up in recent months, doubling its number of advertisers in the 6-month period between September 2016 (500k advertisers) and March 2017 (1 million).
Meanwhile, there is one social network that may be closer to hitting peak ad loads: YouTube. Forrester notes in its data release that 39% of teen users of YouTube feel that it has too many ads.
Video ad loads have been oft-discussed of late, as the industry recognizes that the consumer experience is the biggest advertising challenge it faces. One aspect being investigated in research is viewer preference for a single longer ad as opposed to multiple shorter ones (viewers are split).
Nevertheless, perceived high ad loads on YouTube don’t seem to have stunted engagement: Forrester reveals that teens are far more likely to use YouTube every day than the next-most used service. So there’s that…
About the Data: The results are based on responses from 3,003-4,327 US 12-17-year-old users of these various social platforms. The source is the Forrester Data Consumer Technographics® North American Youth Survey, 2017 (US), which was fielded in January 2017.