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Facebook Gets Strong Majority of World's Social Ad Spending

More than two-thirds of net ad revenues at social sites go to the US-based giant

July 25, 2016 | Media Buying

Facebook stands tall as the largest recipient of social media advertising dollars in the world—by a long shot. eMarketer estimates that the company, which will report earnings this week, will take in more than two-thirds of social media ad revenues around the globe this year.

Social Network Ad Revenue Share Worldwide, by Company, 2016 (% of total)

“Facebook is seeing momentum across its ad business,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “On the branding side, video ads are becoming more and more popular for marketers whose objective is broad awareness. And products like Dynamic Ads, which let advertisers upload their product catalog to Facebook and then deliver relevant targeted ads, are proving highly effective for marketers that want to drive lower-funnel activities, such as purchases.”

eMarketer estimates that Facebook will take in $22.37 billion in net ad revenues this year, up from $17.08 billion in 2015. Most of those revenues—$12.08 billion this year—will come from outside the US.

Meanwhile, Facebook has not even monetized its own Messenger app or WhatsApp, another chat app it owns. The company announced last week that 1 billion people use Messenger, making it nearly as popular as WhatsApp.

US Facebook Messenger Users and Penetration, 2014-2020 (millions and % of mobile phone users)

eMarketer estimated in June that 105.2 million people in the US would use Facebook Messenger at least monthly this year, representing about two in five mobile phone users in the country. WhatsApp has a much smaller US user base, estimated at 18.4 million this year.

In November 2015, eMarketer forecast there would be 1.61 billion mobile messaging app users worldwide this year.

“Messenger is gaining traction among marketers that want to experiment with chat bots,” said Williamson. “These are very early days for conducting business activities on Messenger, however, and it remains unclear just how important it will be as a marketing vehicle”

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