Facebook takes the lead as social network ad spending surges faster than expected, eMarketer says

Ad spending on social networks is growing even faster than analysts have previously predicted, according to eMarketer’s latest forecasts.

Globally, social network ad spend is expected to reach $25.1bn in 2015, higher than the $23.7bn forecast predicted by eMarketer earlier this year.

This growth can largely be attributed to Facebook. The social giant is expected to rake in 64.8 per cent of total social ad spend worldwide this year, and is estimated to bring in $16.3bn in ad revenue globally, a 41.8 per cent jump from last year.

A portion of this growth stems from Instagram, which is expected to take in $600m worldwide this year, or 5 per cent of Facebook’s mobile ad revenue.

Analysts are predicting that the photo-sharing app will make $1.5bn in worldwide ad revenue next year, a 149 per cent increase from 2015.

While Twitter is expected to grow its ad revenues 61.8 per cent this year to $2bn, eMarketer said estimates for the social platform’s ad spend have decreased. Earlier this year, eMarketer predicted that Twitter would see 66.9 per cent growth.

Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst, said: "Twitter's slowing user growth is impacting its ad business. Twitter has improved its ad targeting capabilities, and it still has a lock on real-time conversation. However, advertisers want to reach a mass audience and that's harder to do on Twitter than on Facebook."

Facebook says it had 968 million daily active users on average during the month of June, while Twitter claims to have 316 million monthly active users.

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