Social networking may seem like a fad to some, but the numbers say otherwise. According to a paper by market research company eMarketer, ad revenues for social networks will hit a global total of $5.5 billion USD by the end of 2011. Furthermore, the figure is expected to double to over $10 billion in 2013.
Not surprisingly, eMarketer says that the major percentage of social network ad revenues will be enjoyed by Facebook, whose membership has increased to over 800 million active users as of September 2011. Twitter comes in at second, mainly because they’ve recently figured out how to make actual revenues from the site. Coming in at third is business-related social network LinkedIn, which is expected to receive a 3 percent share of all global ad revenues for social networks, equalling to a little over $140 million.
While eMarketer points out that LinkedIn’s ad revenue figures have increased substantially over the last two years, it’s a trend that seems to be slowing down. That however, doesn’t mean the decline of the site itself, as LinkedIn has shown that its main ace in the hole is its recruiting business. The site’s ad revenues, though significant, are more of an added bonus.
While the growth of advertising on social networks is clearly on the rise, it comes with other conventional forms of advertising taking a hit in revenue. Indeed, more and more individuals and organizations are spending more on social networks ads. In the United States, 8.8 percent of ad expenses go to social networking sites. 6.9 percent of global ad expenses go the same route. eMarketer expects that in the next two years, those ad revenue figures are expected to increase to 11.7 percent and 9.4 percent respectively.
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