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US Social Trends for 2020

eMarketer’s Predictions for the Year Ahead

About This Report
How will social network ad spending and social usage change in 2020? And what will happen in hot-button areas, such as privacy, ad targeting and political advertising in social media? Here’s what we think lies ahead.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

After 2019’s investigations and scandals, how does 2020 look for social media marketing? Here’s what we expect to happen this year.

Will social network ad spending continue to rise?

Yes. We expect US spending on social networks will increase 20.4% in 2020 to more than $43 billion. Social video ads will make up one-third of US digital video ad spending this year.

How will social usage change?

Time spent on Facebook will fall to a new low of 33 minutes per day among US adult Facebook users. Younger users are abandoning the social network in greater numbers, and older ones aren’t increasing their time. The good news is that Instagram will have more users ages 18 to 24 than Facebook for the first time in 2020.

What will happen in the Facebook antitrust and privacy investigations?

After a busy 2019, we don’t anticipate full resolution this year because the US elections will slow down progress. However, we do expect that more privacy skeletons will emerge from Facebook’s closet.

What will change about political advertising in social media?

The whack-a-mole game will continue while the social properties wrestle with defining what is and isn’t a political ad. Political organizations both legitimate and nefarious will take full advantage of the disarray. This may affect social media usage, as some disgruntled users will choose to avoid the fray.

Will TikTok continue to gain popularity?

The short-form video app space will be active this year. Startups and existing players will try to take advantage of the rise of TikTok. But we are somewhat skeptical of how long the craze will last in the US.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our 11 predictions for social media in 2020.

KEY STAT: We estimate that US advertisers will increase social network ad spending 20.4% this year.

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Six eMarketer Forecasts for 2020
  3. Five More Predictions
  1. Our 2019 Predictions: Here’s How We Did
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery


Debra Aho Williamson


Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst
Natalie McGranahan
Senior Researcher and Taxonomy Manager
Chuck Rawlings
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