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Social media advertising forecasted to grow 14.3% this year

Social media is now the largest advertising channel worldwide having overtaken paid search and is forecast to total $247.3 billion this year, up 14.3% year-on-year. Time spent with social platforms has increased by 50% since 2014, from an average daily consumption of 95 minutes to 152 minutes in 2024, and worldwide user numbers across social platforms have risen 169% since 2014, marketing giant WARC says in a report on global advertising trends.

“Much of social media’s success has been driven by Meta’s remarkable renaissance. However, social’s stronghold on budgets can also be seen in TikTok’s rise, and a return to double digit ad revenue growth at Snapchat and Pinterest”, says Alex Brownsell, Head of Content, WARC Media.

Other key findings :

  • Meta alone is on track to overtake all global linear TV in ad revenue in 2025.
  • Investment in AI is helping drive incremental spend on social.
  • TikTok’s growth will slow to 18.3% year-on-year to $23.1bn this year amidst US ban concerns
  • Snapchat and Pinterest return to double digit ad growth.
  • X’s ad revenue is forecast to decline by 6.4% globally and 5.1% in the US.
  • Ad loads are rising across social platforms. Meta increased its ad load in Q4 2023 to 19.1%.
  • Social platforms are becoming increasingly homogenous.

Global social spend is set to total $247.3 billion in 2024, up 14.3% year-on-year, a slight deceleration from +16.0% in 2023. Western platforms are growing fastest, fuelled by Chinese brands targeting US and European audiences.

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Both Facebook and Instagram grew by more than 20% year-on-year in Q1 2024, and Meta is forecast to earn $155.6 billion in ad revenue this year, representing a 63.0% share of global social spend, fuelled by a wave of investment from Chinese exporters, and the popularity of its AI tools.

According to WARC Media, Meta is set to overtake global linear TV in advertising spend terms in 2025.

The report forecasts TikTok will earn $23.1 billion this year. The +18.3% year-on-year increase is down from the 87.8% growth rate it clocked up last year, despite the introduction of new search and shopping ad formats.

“Given TikTok’s unique popularity with Gen Z audiences, many advertisers in the US will be hoping a ban does not come into effect.”

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