At Ad Week and the Social Ad Summit, we were struck by the fact that Facebook was the only social network that was being discussed in any depth among marketers and agencies.
After all, don’t other social networks like MySpace have massive audiences?
Maybe so, but marketers couldn’t care less about them.
The charts below made from recently-released data from Hitwise help illustrate why Facebook appears to be the primary (if not the only) topic of pretty much every conversation about social media advertising. Specifically:
- Facebook is significantly widening the gap between itself and other social networks in the battle for dominance in the small but growing social advertising category by growing its audience and creating products that keep them engaged and interacting.
- Twitter could have a hard time turning its audience, buzz, and growth into brand advertising dollars if some of its audience trends continue (though we think there is plenty of money to be made elsewhere).
First, engagement trends, year-over-year (blue is 2008, red 2009). Facebook’s growing, MySpace and Twitter are dropping:
Facebook’s audience is becoming increasingly engaged, incorporating more and more of the social network into their lives. At the same time Twitter’s users are growing, but they’re using the service less and less (almost 60% less the past year). MySpace’s engagment metrics also declined the past year.
- Facebook is one of the only social networks whose users are becoming more engaged (and at a pretty strong rate), giving it a huge advantage when selling ads to agencies/marketers. This is likely why Facebook’s recently released “engagment ads” product has been received so well..
- Twitter clearly has a place in social networking given its tremendous audience growth (see below), but the steep drop in engagment could indicate that its money will be made from direct-response type ads, not branding–and fees charged for data and communication.
Next, market share:
This is a pretty startling slide. MySpace’s visits have been cut in half the past year while Facebook’s have more than doubled. This, combined with the increasing engagement numbers clarifies why Facebook is quickly becoming the only social network discussed in the social media advertising conversations between agencies and marketers.
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