Q1 2019 Social Trends

Will Facebook Become a New WeChat, and What Exactly Is TikTok?

About This Report
The first in a series of quarterly social media reports, this report examines major developments in the global social media market based on trends, business activity and new data released in Q1 2019.

Executive Summary

This is the first installment in an ongoing series of quarterly social media reports. The goal of each report is to provide a summary of key recent developments. For Q1 2019, we look at Facebook’s shift in strategy and the rise of short-video app TikTok.

How is social network advertising doing?

We have raised our forecast for worldwide Facebook and Twitter ad spending after strong 2018 performance that exceeded our expectations. Most of Facebook’s growth will be driven by Instagram. Meanwhile, we have lowered our forecast for Snapchat, which continues to suffer price erosion from its switch to programmatic.

How many social network users are there?

We have updated our forecast for US and UK social network users, including a significant reduction in our estimate for the number of monthly Snapchat users in both countries.

Why did Facebook announce a new, privacy-focused vision?

Facebook said that it would shift its focus from public to private sharing. Its plan is to build a privacy-focused platform with additional functionalities, like shopping and payments—and that could impact how it monetizes. In-app checkout on Instagram may be a glimpse of what’s to come.

Why did Snapchat launch a new gaming platform?

News reports in March said Snapchat would unveil an in-app gaming platform. In April, it did just that. The new platform may help bring in additional revenues and combat slowing growth among its core audience.

Why did Twitter change how it reports the size of its user base?

Twitter will stop reporting monthly active users (MAUs) and share only monetizable daily active users (mDAUs). The move comes after several quarters of MAU declines. The good news is that Twitter continues to squeeze revenues out of its existing users.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers key events in the global social media market, as well as new data, trends and business activity in Q1 2019. It also includes updated forecasts for UK and US social media users and social network ad spending worldwide.

KEY STAT: Facebook is still the world’s most lucrative social network. In 2019, it will generate an average of $30.20 in ad revenues per user, excluding Instagram.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The State of Social Media: What Happened in Q1 2019?
  3. Monetization
  1. Audience
  2. Measurement
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Steve Simpson
Publicis Spine
President, Publicis PeopleCloud
Interviewed February 26, 2019

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Jasmine Enberg


Natalie McGranahan
Senior Researcher and Taxonomy Manager
Monica Peart
Senior Director, Forecasting
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst

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