Social Media Update Q4 2020

The Social Platforms End the Year Looking More Alike than Ever Before

About This Report
After a tumultuous year, the social platforms will close 2020 on a high note in terms of ad revenues and users—and with features that closely resemble each other.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

This is the latest installment in an ongoing series of updates for the major social media platforms. The goal of each report is to provide a summary of key recent developments and what they mean for marketers.

How is social media ad spending doing?

Very well, all things considered. While our updated 2020 worldwide ad revenue expectations remain lower than our pre-pandemic forecasts, they represent an upgrade from our June estimates, due to a faster-than-expected rebound in social network ad spending in nearly every market we track.

How have the social networks transformed in 2020?

Ever heard the saying “same, same but different”? From new ad products and ecommerce tools for brands to updated video and ephemeral messaging features for users, the main social platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter—now have more in common than not.

How has our forecast for worldwide social network users changed?

We have increased our worldwide forecast for monthly social network users in 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic. No platform will be able to maintain all of the momentum it gained in the early part of the year, however, and in 2021, growth rates will begin to normalize.

What’s new on the monetization front in Q4 2020?

Recent product launches, including livestream shopping on Facebook and shopping tags in Instagram’s Reels, show that ecommerce is still top of mind for those two platforms. Snapchat and Twitter have been more focused on performance marketing: Snapchat released a new suite of direct-response ad offerings, and Twitter rolled out revamped Carousel ads.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report explores key developments for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, as well as our latest forecasts for worldwide social network ad revenues and users.

KEY STAT: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter will end 2020 with more users worldwide than we had predicted prior to the pandemic.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. 2020 Year in Review: The Platforms Are Starting to Resemble Each Other. What Does that Mean for Marketers?
  3. Facebook
  1. Audience
  2. Instagram
  3. Snapchat
  1. Twitter
  2. Read Next
  3. Media Gallery

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Jasmine Enberg


Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst
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