Social Media Explosion: Over Billion Users Today, $9.8 Billion Spend By 2016

Top Social Networks LogosWhile couple of years ago business owners could have debated if social media presence is necessary or not, I think that today it is ridiculous just to thing about it. Social networks have have a gigantic global reach and advertisers keeps allocating more funds to social media channels.

Back on March, I reported that eMarketer estimated that in 2011 there 1.2 were billion people that were using social networks and during 2012 it will already reach for 1.43 billion social network users. It projected that by 2014, 1.85 billion people will be connected to social networks (more than quarter of the world population)!

A new report which was released recently by the U.N. agency, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is indicating on more or less the same scope. The ITU evaluates that the number of social media users worldwide has topped the on billion, many of them using mobile devices to access the social networks.

Interestingly, if we know that Facebook has over 900 million users it means that about 90 percent of all social media users are using Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. It’s kinda like Google monopoly over the global search market with 80%-90% share.

Not surprisingly, the enormous growth in social networking users attracts also growing number advertisers to market on social media channels.

According to a new prediction from the research firm BIA/Kelsey, where in 2012 social media spend in the U.S. will reach for $4.8 billion, during the next five years it will keep growing by double digits each year until it will peak at $9.8 billion in 2016.

Social Media Spend 2011-2016

BIA/Kelsey analyst Jed Williams is stating that what will drive this incredible growth will be mostly richer ad formats (he specifically mentions video) and better performances. I guess it is good news for Facebook which lately its advertising effectiveness has been questioned.

Another interesting thing in the forecast, is the increasing role of local spend. It seems that more local business owners will begin advertising on the social media in the next few years- While in 2011 local spend generated slightly more than 22% out of the total social media spend, by 2016 it will already generate 31.6% out of the total.