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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 03, 2011

Forecast: Social Media could surpass $8b by 2015

Facebook broke out ads within the social network just over a year ago, and hasn't looked back. Neither have consumers or advertisers, if a new forecast from BIA/Kelsey Group pans out. According to the report social media advertising will skyrocket over the next four years to reach more than $8 billion (US) in 2015.

by Kristina Knight

In 2010 social media advertising reached just over $2 billion. If the forecast is correct, the increase would be a compound annual growth rate of more than 31%.

"It's no surprise that Facebook commands a dominant share of all social ad impressions served and ad revenues generated," said Jed Williams, analyst and program director of BIA/Kelsey's Social Local Media practice. "As the social market leader, it already serves the most display ad impressions of any digital company, surpassing both Yahoo and Google. We fully expect Facebook to increase both impression share and ad revenue, as buyer awareness accelerates and creative formatting and targeting improve to optimize performance."

The forecast predicts:

• Display ads within social media will increase by 30% to reach $7.7 billion in 2015
• Non-display formats, including options like 'promoted products' are expected to increase to about $600 million by 2015
• The forecast covers actual ad formats, not other options like social games, virtual rewards or social commerce

In March comScore notes that Yahoo, Google and Microsoft were the top three websites; Facebook was close behind the search and content giants at number four with more than 152.9 million unique visitors. Less than 30 million unique visitors separated the top four website properties.

What's also surprising is that advertising has not diminished the amount of time consumers spend on social networks or the number of consumers signing up for profiles each day. Twitter and LinkedIn also hit the top fifty, behind content-and-social properties such as iVillage and Break Media.

Tags: advertising forecast, BIA/Kelsey Group, social marketing, social media, social networks

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