Global Social Advertising Still On the Rise, But Growth Rates Slow

August 1, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Creative & Formats | Digital | Social Media | Spending & Spenders

Social media advertising continues to grow in 2019, albeit at a slower pace than previous years. Q1 2019 saw 26.2% year-over-year (y-o-y) combined ad revenue growth for key social and messaging companies, per recent data from WARC.

WARC examined their data as well as company reports for the following social media and messaging companies — Facebook, WeChat/QQ, Twitter, Weibo, Snapchat and Pinterest – that WARC calculates represent one-quarter of internet ad spend as well as 11% of global media spend. What the analysis found was that after seeing 51.6% y-o-y ad revenue growth in Q1 2018, growth rates slowly but steadily declined throughout 2018 and into this year. As such, Q1 2019’s growth rate was about half that of the year-earlier period.

Despite revenue growth slowing down, the combined global ad revenues for the social networks examined reached the second-highest total ever at $17.9 billion during the first quarter, which is only eclipsed by the $20.2 billion in revenues in Q4 2018. That’s typical, as Q1 ad spending tends to dip after the year-end rush.

The report also points out that Facebook (which also includes Instagram and WhatsApp) accounted for a whopping 83.2% of total Q1 social ad revenues, bringing in a total of $14.9 billion. Additionally, 48.3% ($7.2 billion) of that ad income was derived from advertisers in North America.

The good news – on the advertising side – continues for Facebook and its properties, with recent data from Social Media Examiner finding that 6 in 10 (59%) global marketers (the majority of whom were from smaller companies) say they will increase their use of Facebook Ads in the next year. A majority (55%) also aid they plan to increase their use of Instagram ads in 2019. Additionally, other research has shown that more of Facebook advertising spend is being diverted to Instagram Stories, as marketers are discovering their effectiveness.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Snapchat, which is slowly losing steam with US teens to Instagram, only accounted for 1.8% of the total ad revenues. That said, Snapchat can take heart in its most recent quarter, in which it reported strong user growth.

About the Data: Findings are based on WARC data and company reports.

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