May 4, 2011, 12:49 PM

Social media ad spending will hit $8.3 billion in 2015

Facebook display ads will account for most of that spending, a report says.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Social media advertising revenue will increase nearly 300% to $8.3 billion in 2015 from $2.1 billion in 2010, according to a new report from BIA/Kelsey, a media research and consulting firm. That translates to a 31.6% annual growth rate.

The report defines social media spending as money spent on advertising formats across social networks. Display ads, such as Facebook’s featured ads, Marketplace ads and Sponsored Stories, now account for nearly all social media advertising, according to the report. Display ads will remain the dominant format in 2015, accounting for 92.7%, or nearly $7.7 billion, of social media advertising spending.

The report also says the number of non-display ad formats—for instance, Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, which are essentially paid repostings of previous Twitter messages—will account for about $600 million of social network ad spend in 2015.

“It’s no surprise that Facebook commands a dominant share of all social ad impressions served and ad revenues generated,” says Jed Williams, analyst and program director of BIA/Kelsey’s social local media practice. “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.”

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