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Q2 2023 Paid Social Forecast and Trends

Automation, Innovation, and Hesitation Slow Social Spending Growth

About This Report
With user penetration nearly complete and time spent starting to plateau or decline on many platforms, social networks have run out of easy paths to incremental budget among their advertisers.
Table of Contents

Report Snapshot

With user growth slowing and measurement limitations proving intractable, social networks are in the middle of a pivot they hope will support a new phase of growth. While the industry shifts, US ad spending growth in 2023 will be some of the slowest we’ve recorded for the channel.

Key Question: How is social network ad spending changing? Which ad formats are gaining traction?

KEY STAT: Social network ad spending this year will grow at the slowest rate we’ve ever recorded.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

6expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

    Table of Contents

    1. Report Snapshot
    2. Single-digit growth will define social’s next few years.
    3. Social ad spending’s near-term prognosis has gotten worse, not better.
    4. Short-form video is still hindering social ad spend growth.
    5. TikTok: Advertisers keep spending, despite more ban talk and growing pains.
    1. Meta: Cheap and cheerful.
    2. Facebook: A notable revision to our forecast.
    3. Instagram: The app is ‘reeling’ advertisers in.
    4. Platform trends: The rise of the machines.
    5. Platform trends: Social platforms want to ride retail media’s coattails.
    1. User trends: Societal scrutiny of social is at an all-time high.
    2. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    3. Sources
    4. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Avi Ben-Zvi
    Vice President, Paid Social
    Interviewed April 19, 2023
    Gogi Gupta
    Gupta Media
    Interviewed April 13, 2023
    Deirdre McGlashan
    Stagwell Global
    Chief Media Officer
    Interviewed April 28, 2023
    Erica Patrick
    Senior Vice President and Director, Paid Social Media
    Interviewed April 17, 2023
    Kieley Taylor
    Global Head of Partnerships, Managing Partner
    Interviewed April 26, 2023
    Philip Ware
    Thrive Digital
    Vice President, Product and Partnerships
    Interviewed April 28, 2023
    About This Report
    With user penetration nearly complete and time spent starting to plateau or decline on many platforms, social networks have run out of easy paths to incremental budget among their advertisers.
    Table of Contents

    First Published on May 18, 2023


    Max Willens


    Jasmine Enberg
    Principal Analyst
    Zach Goldner
    Forecasting Analyst
    Paul Verna
    Principal Analyst
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