Editor of B&T’s sister site www.which-50.com, Andrew Birmingham, looks at Facebook’s latest take-up rates and argues news of its demise have been grossly overstated…
We are almost too familiar with Facebook’s success and dominance, so it’s worth reminding ourselves that in many ways Zuckerberg’s Curse is only getting started.
Figures out this week suggest that, for the first time, a majority of Americans logged into Facebook at least once during the month (across any device). More importantly, despite predictions of its decay in recent years, the growth in logins in recent years is quite consistent.
The Social Network is growing its engagement with consumers in the world’s biggest economy at about one per cent a year. Out through to 2020, it’s all upside for Facebook.
In its discussion of the data, eMarketer notes that “another important milestone for Facebook this year is that more than half of US mobile phone users will be Facebook users. In 2016, 52.9 per cent of mobile phone users will log on to Facebook at least once a month from their mobile phone. And mobile will continue to play an important role in Facebook’s growth. This year, 86.0 per cent of US Facebook users will access the platform through a phone, with that figure climbing to 91.0 per cent by 2019. Strong user engagement on mobile is helping to drive Facebook’s mobile ad revenues, which this year will amount to 19.2 per cent of total mobile ad spending in the US (Google is No. 1 with a 31.7 per cent share).”
In fact, Facebook’s story is even stronger. The company also owns the second most popular social network: Instagram. About a quarter of Americans log into the photo-sharing app once a month. And Instagram’s demographics are more favourable among those delicious and irresponsible younger consumers with all that free cash to burn.
In a market like Australia, the implications are important both for brands and for other publishers. On current trends it is likely that digital will reach 50 per cent of total advertising spend in the next few years, and it is almost certain that already Google and Facebook capture a majority of local digital investment (nobody, least of all the IAB, wants to admit it).
Currently most of that goes to Google, as Facebook is still building up a head of steam locally. And all this before Instagram really gets going commercially.
That leaves every other publisher and every other category of spending fighting over the scraps.