Brands spent $673bn on social media ads in five years

Brands spent $673bn on social media ads in five years Duncan is an award-winning technology industry analyst, specialising in cloud computing, blockchain, martech and edge computing.

With 75% of Gen Zers and almost half of Millennials making purchasing decisions influenced by social media ads, it`s no wonder brands and companies continue pouring money into this type of advertising.

According to data presented by, brands worldwide have spent a whopping $673bn on social media ads in the past five years, and the figure keeps on rising.

Annual Social Media Ad Spending has Almost Tripled Since 2018

Over the past decade, social media has grown into an excellent marketing tool providing an alternative way for companies to advertise and reach their target audience and potential customers. Despite being expensive and time-consuming and exposing to negative reviews, brands continue pouring money into social media ads after already spending hundreds of billions on them.

According to a Statista survey, brands spent $73.2bn on social media ads in 2018. Two years later, this figure practically doubled to $132.7bn. Statistics show 2021 saw the biggest year-over-year growth, with revenue surging by 36% or nearly $50bn in a year to $180.9bn. Although 2022 and 2023 saw much lower growth rates, global social media ad spending still hit all-time highs.

Statista expects brands to spend more than $207bn on social media advertising this year, or almost triple the figure reported in 2018. Moreover, total ad spending in the social media advertising market is projected to grow by a CAGR of 4.5% between 2023 and 2027, resulting in a market volume of $207.1bn.

Over 80% of total ad spending this year, or $170.3bn, will be generated through mobile, up from $53.5bn five years ago. Desktop ads will make up the rest with $36.7bn in total ad spending, almost double the figure seen in 2018.

In global comparison, most ad spending, or $72.3bn, will come from the United States. Chinese brands stand close with $71.3bn in total ad spending this year. United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany follow, with $9.7bn, $7.7bn, and $3.8bn, respectively.

Meta Dominates the Social Media Advertising Landscape with a Huge 55% Market Share

Although Facebook has been facing much slower growth in monthly active users, Meta is still the biggest brand in the global social media advertising landscape. According to Statista Advertising and Media Outlook, Meta had a massive 55% market share last year, nearly four times more than LinkedIn, the second-largest social media advertising brand. Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, Twitter, and ByteDance all had around 5% shares in global social media advertising revenue.

Meta`s dominance will continue this year, as Facebook reaches more than 2.72 billion users worldwide, 120 million more than a year ago. Overall, Statista data show the number of people using social media platforms is expected to hit almost 4.9 billion this year, up from 4.59 billion in 2022.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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