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Text-based app struggles could be LinkedIn’s gain as B2B audience gets younger

Key stat: 80% of B2B marketers worldwide say they use LinkedIn, more than they use any other social platform, according to LinkedIn and Ipsos.

What’s happening? Active user figures are falling on both X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) and Meta’s Threads, which started strong but has stumbled recently, with more than 80% of users logging off. Their loss could be LinkedIn’s gain, as Gen Z use of the platform and B2B ad spend there increase.

  • US LinkedIn user growth will accelerate to 6.3% this year, for a total of 75.8 million users, according to our forecast.
  • US ad revenue growth will hit 8.8% this year on LinkedIn for a total of $3.95 billion, and will accelerate in 2024 to 15.1% growth, per our forecast.
  • Job insecurity is sending young users to LinkedIn, while tight budgets are keeping B2B advertisers focused on LinkedIn, where they know they can target the right audience.

New features: LinkedIn is courting creators with several new features, a smart move as B2B professionals’ social media activity increases.

  • Brand partnership tags will help label sponsored posts on the platform, similar to tags on Instagram and other social media platforms.
  • Newsletter updates, including a better user interface and improved discoverability, will also help creators—and B2B marketers—grow their audiences.

An uptick in activity won’t change LinkedIn’s ad focus: Even as X users and creators turn to LinkedIn, advertisers should still treat it as a B2B mainstay. Over 90% of ads on LinkedIn are B2B-oriented, per our estimates.

But that doesn’t mean B2B social media ads can’t be creative. Millennials and Gen Zers will make up 61.6% of total US users in 2023, per our forecast, and those users expect to be entertained on social media.

Marketers can combine a B2B focus with playfulness in ads and influencer content. “Our goal was never about being cool,” wrote Tomer Cohen, chief product officer at LinkedIn, in a recent post. “It was about helping create economic opportunity for professionals worldwide. ...That said, I’ll take cool along the way.”

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.