June 10th, 2016 | Read more articles from 2016 or Visit the News Archive
Instagram tops Twitter with advertisers, survey says
Originally Appearing at: USA Today
By: Eli Blumenthal
NEW YORK — Twitter’s advertisers are flying the coop, seemingly for Instagram, according to a new survey.
STRATA, a subsidiary of Comcast, said a first-quarter survey of 87 U.S. advertising agencies found 96% of agencies responded they plan to advertise on Facebook and 67% planned to advertise on YouTube. Instagram came in third, with 63% of surveyed agencies placing their plans there, followed by Twitter, where 56% planned to advertise. Snapchat received 11% interest, an 86% jump up from the fourth quarter.
While Facebook and YouTube have previously been the top two platforms, Strata says the new survey marks the first time that Instagram has received more attention than Twitter from its advertisers. Instagram interest rose 29 percentage points from 34% at the end of Q1 2015, while Twitter interest is down 2 points from 58% from the same period.
STRATA’s media buying software handles $50 billion in advertising annually, or approximately 25% of US advertising spending.
Twitter said the STRATA survey doesn’t paint a full picture.
“The data presented in this survey couldn’t be farther from the truth,” said statement provided to USA TODAY by spokesman Will Stickney. “We have close relationships with our agency clients and continue to hear that Twitter offers the most powerful creative canvas while driving significant ROI. Further, three global agency holding companies have recently renewed their upfront deals with us with increased spend - a true testament to the success they’re seeing on the platform.”
The STRATA report comes on the tail end of a tough week for the San Francisco-based media company. Jeff Seibert, the company’s chief product officer, left on Tuesday. A new report on Wednesday from research firm eMarketer projected Snapchat to overtake Twitter in overall users this year, jumping 27% to 58.6 million users in the U.S. by the end of the year. Twitter is expected to have 56.8 million users.
Twitter (TWTR) shares fell 4% Friday to $14.02, down nearly 8% for the week.
The shifts come as social media spending is on the upswing.
“I think ad agencies are finding their footing with social,” says J.D. Miller, director at STRATA. “It’s always been something they wanted to do or felt like they needed to be in but now they’re spending money on it which we’re seeing in our survey.”
“They’re spending money more than ever before.”
According to the survey, general spending on social is up, with 17% of the agencies polled saying they would be putting up to a quarter of their ad budgets on social media. Social media also became the number one spot for digital spending at 77% of agencies, overtaking more traditional display ads—such as banner or video ads—that are common on the web.
Research firm eMarketer agrees with STRATA’s findings, though they have Instagram overtaking Twitter in 2017. “In general we think that’s the trend,” says Martin Utreras, a senior forecasting analyst at the firm. “We think (it) is really mainly driven by the audience. We think Instagram’s audience is larger than Twitter’s audience right now, approximately by 30 million. So that makes it more attractive of course for advertisers.”
Utreras also credits Instagram’s generally broader audience and “piggybacking” on Facebook’s data and ad buying network, which lets ad buyers buy Instagram ads through the same platform they buy Facebook ads.
In its quarterly financial report last quarter, Twitter disappointed investors with revenue that fell short of forecasts and a sales outlook that also disappointed.
It also acknowledged that “brand marketers did not increase spend as quickly as expected” in the first quarter.