Social media isn’t growing like it used to. So, what does that mean for this valuable market? Is social media dead in America?
The Social Media Boom Is Over
For years social media companies were experiencing booms of growth. However, this is not the case anymore. According to data from Statista, between 2008-2018, Facebook alone grew massively. It went from 100 million users worldwide to roughly 2.27 billion users worldwide.
That time of growth is ending. Some social media platforms are growing slowly. Others are not growing at all, and some are even shrinking.
In fact, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are not adding new users in the United States anymore. Facebook’s daily user base has been exactly the same for the past three quarters. Twitter and Snapchat, on the other hand, have lost users in North America over the past two quarters.
North American Users Generate The Most Revenue
This is a problem for advertisers for a few reasons. For one, social media users in the U.S. and Canada generally have more disposable income than consumers in other markets.
This means that they make more advertising revenue for social media companies than those in other countries. This wide margin is why advertisers focus on this market. For example:
- North American Facebook users generated $27.61 in revenue apiece last quarter.
- European users generated $8.82
- Asian-Pacific users generated $2.67
Twitter And Snapchat Statistics
Twitter and Snapchat are in a similar boat.
Twitter’s monthly active users in the US made $5.19 in ad revenue apiece last quarter. The whole global community of Twitter users outside the US generated only $1.17 each.
Snapchat’s North American users generated $2.62 apiece in revenue last quarter. However, their second most valuable user base did not make even half of that revenue. Snapchat users in Europe only generated 85 cents each.
What Does This Mean For Advertisers?
In general, social media platforms aren’t growing as they used to in the US. What does this mean for advertisers?
Essentially, these companies need to find other ways to grow their advertising businesses. They need to discover new ways to bring in revenue.
It seems that the obvious choice is for advertisers to shift their attention from North America. Maybe they should focus on international markets. However, this is not an easy quick fix.
While social media use is growing in the Asia-Pacific region, many in this area have little disposable income. Also, there is a lack of large and established advertising industries throughout a lot of that region.
Focusing On North America
This leaves advertisers with the option of making more revenue from the North American users they already have. There are a few ways to do this, including:
- Charging more money for ads
- Inserting more ads into existing products
- Inserting more ads into new products
Currently, Facebook is trying to insert more ads into Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. However, it is a challenge to increase the ad load without ruining the user experience. After all, users can leave apps or social media platforms due to excessive ads. Then that revenue stream is lost.
Why Have These Social Networks Stopped Growing?
No one has a simple answer. Why has growth has slowed or stopped for some platforms? And why are others losing users?
In the case of Facebook, it is thought that so many people in the United States and Canada already use Facebook that there is just not much room left for them to keep growing.
A big amount of Americans and Canadians already use Facebook. Facebook has a daily user base of 185 million in the U.S. and Canada. This is over 50% of the entire population. This even includes kids.
Facebook’s monthly user base is even higher, at 242 million users. This is 67% of all Americans and Canadians.
Instagram Is The Exception
Instagram appears to be the exception to these general trends. It does not share regular user growth updates. However, its total monthly user base keeps growing. The number of users of Instagram Stories keeps growing as well.
Instagram reached 1 billion active monthly users worldwide in 2018. It is also projected to surpass 111 million active monthly users in the US alone in 2019.
However, it’s not certain how much of that growth is centered in North America. And, it is also important to consider that Facebook has admitted that Instagram Stories do not monetize as well as Facebook’s feed products.
SEE ALSO: Why Brands Are Moving to Instagram
Social Media And Smart Phones
Social media’s takeover of America has gone hand in hand with the rise of smartphones and internet access.
In January 2018, 69% of US adults said that they had used social media. This is the same percentage of US adults who said they had used social media in 2017. This data comes from
Over the course of that year, a steady 77% of adults in the United States said that they owned a smartphone. This makes a lot of sense. Many social media platforms are, in fact, geared toward mobile use. In fact, 80% of Twitter users access it on their phone.
The State of Social Media In The US
Ultimately, social media platforms are not growing in the US at the rate they once did. However, they are still a powerful market. Social media platforms still have large user bases in North America. Also, these user bases have the most disposable income of any in the world.
There is a good reason Facebook may not be experiencing huge growth in North America. The majority of people in this region already use it. If everyone is already there, who else can be added? So, this hardly qualifies Facebook as a dead platform.
Instagram Is In
Keep in mind that Instagram is still growing, especially among younger people. Youtube, Snapchat, and Instagram are the most popular social media networks for teens, with many abandoning Facebook altogether.
According to a 2015 study, 71% of US teens were Facebook users. This dropped dramatically as of 2018. Only 51% of US teens used the platform as of 2018.
All industries and consumers are constantly shifting. These changes mean that platforms and advertisers will have to think about advertising in new ways.
They will have to adapt. This, however, does not necessarily mean that social media is over and everyone should jump ship.
What do you think these platforms can do to grow their revenue? Comment below…