These Charts Show How Facebook’s Ad Revenue Growth is Far Outpacing its Audience Growth

May 12, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Digital | Display & Rich Media | Social Media | Spending & Spenders | Video

We recently reported on Facebook’s growing average revenue per user (ARPU), which Ampere Analysis notes has increased sixfold in the US between 2012 and 2016 (to almost $20). We decided to take a look at Facebook’s earnings reports from another perspective, comparing ad revenue growth worldwide with audience growth to show just how much the marketing community has embraced Facebook advertising.

The results, shown in the chart above (click to enlarge), mostly speak for themselves. But here are a couple of quick takeaways:

  • While monthly active user (MAU) growth rates have hovered in the 13-17% range over the past 3 years, ad revenue growth has spent the majority of the time over the 50% mark;
  • In other words, ad revenue growth rates have consistently outpaced monthly active user (MAU) growth rates by at least a factor of 3 (often 4 or more); and
  • Facebook has consistently had slightly higher increases in daily active users (DAUs) than MAUs, meaning that its engagement levels – broadly speaking – have been rising.

Here’s the same chart, but specific to the US and Canada and limited to the past 2 years.

A couple of takeaways from this chart:

  • Audience growth is much slower in the US and Canada than it is globally;
  • In this past quarter, MAU growth was faster than DAU growth for the first time in at least 2 years (declining engagement?); and
  • Facebook’s ad revenue in the US and Canada has consistently expanded at a rate 10 times faster than its audience growth (measured as MAUs).

With these rate of increases, it’s no surprises that Facebook itself now controls 5% of global advertising spending!

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