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Social Media

On today's podcast episode, we discuss how advertisers should adjust their plans based on social video time's slowing growth, whether people will spend more social media time on connected TVs, and the ratio between ad spend and time spent on social networks. "In Other News," we talk about whether TikTok can become a more traditional social network and getting paid to watch ads on a new socially conscious social media app. Tune in to the discussion with our analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

Key stat: 82% of US creators will earn income from sponsored content this year, down from 91% in 2021, according to Mavrck.

TikTok is rolling out its Shop feature to all 100 million US users (per our May forecast), using a tab on the home screen to drive users to the marketplace and allowing videos directly containing purchase links, in order to drive in-app ecommerce traffic.

TikTok and Meta still struggle with content moderation: Threads has blocked search terms related to COVID-19, while TikTok cast too wide a net reining in Qanon.

On today's podcast episode, we discuss whether YouTube Shorts are cannibalizing long-form content, Instagram and Facebook users potentially being able to pay to avoid ads in Europe, how Netflix's password crackdown is getting on, whether serving multiple ads at once is a good idea, the impact of the Digital Services Act's arrival, how long it would take you to drive around every road in the US, and more. Tune in to the discussion with our forecasting writer Ethan Cramer-Flood, analyst Bill Fisher, and forecasting analyst Zach Goldner.

“[Meta] has become more profitable for sure, but it is a leaner, meaner, and hopefully more efficient company,” our analyst Debra Aho Williamson said on a recent episode of “Behind the Numbers.” The company’s 21,000 jobs cuts certainly helped boost its margins. “I think that this sets Meta up for a much better second half of this year.”

Spending on sponsored content will rise 3.5 times faster than social ad spending will this year. Social ad spending, including YouTube, still dwarfs influencer marketing spending, at $83.72 billion versus $5.14 billion in 2023, per our forecasts. But the different spending patterns are a clear indication that creators aren’t tied to social media. The trend holds true on every platform, as marketers continue to shift more budget into influencer marketing, particularly video.

On today's podcast episode, our vice president of Briefings Stephanie Taglianetti hosts a mock-debate-style analyst showdown on Meta versus TikTok. Analyst Debra Aho Williamson and director of Briefings Jeremy Goldman go head to head, advocating on behalf of Meta (Debra) and TikTok (Jeremy) to prove which social platform is the bigger threat in three areas: getting people to spend time on each app, meeting advertisers’ needs, and AI innovation.

While Meta, Google, Apple, and programmatic display are all investment areas for M&C Saatchi Performance, the agency is shaking up some approaches for 2024. “We’re investing in all the tried-and-true performance basics,” said Jonathan Yantz, managing partner at M&C Saatchi Performance. “But we’re most excited about the CTV [connected TV] and influencer/creator spaces, since both are so dynamic now.”

Competition in the VR/XR ecosystem is heating up, and strategic hardware-software alliances could accelerate competition for Apple's premium products.

Effect House by TikTok rolls out: As TikTok broadens its AR horizon, creator incentives play a pivotal role in its evolving digital strategy.

Key stat: US influencer marketing spend will grow more than three times faster than social ad spend in 2023, and it will remain ahead through 2025, according to our forecast.

Meta's strategy to bolster Threads: Given Threads' declining user base, Instagram's promotional push could be a double-edged sword in the engagement game.

Meta mulls over ad-free options in Europe: Marketers need to brace for potential changes in audience targeting and ad costs.

Brooklinen is putting an emphasis on authenticity and relatable, real-world experiences in its paid social creative.

Is social media dead? Not exactly. But it has become “less social and more media,” as Insider reported.

Reels' next frontier: Instagram's strategic play against TikTok's and YouTube's video offerings, maximizing advertising opportunities.

Social commerce and livestream shopping are playing a larger role on TikTok as the platform builds out its ecommerce business, though influencers still have a lot of sway in purchase decisions, especially among Gen Z. To be successful on TikTok, marketers need to lean into discovery and put content at the heart of their strategy.

On today's podcast episode, we discuss the quick adaptation and rejection of Threads by Instagram users, the complicated costs of bundling streaming services, where TikTok falls on the list of most influential social media apps, and more. Tune in to the discussion with our director of reports editing Rahul Chadha and analysts Evelyn Mitchell-Wolf and Max Willens.

Affiliate marketing is maturing into a multidimensional, full-funnel channel. But not everyone is convinced of its potential, said Alexandra Forsch, president of Awin Americas. For senior decision-makers, affiliate marketing is “considered a very tactical channel and not a strategic one, and as such, it’s not as attractive,” Forsch said on a “Behind the Numbers” podcast episode.