AUSTIN (AP) Ads that appear on social media platforms are driving revenue growth for major U.S. advertising companies, while advertisers are shifting to ad networks that offer personalized audiences, according to a new study by advertising analytics firm AdRoll.
The research suggests that social media may have the most to offer advertisers as they pursue audiences that are more engaged and willing to share.
The study looked at 1,200 U.s. ad agencies, looking at their revenue from ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
The companies spent about $2 billion on Facebook in the first quarter, up nearly 12% from the same period a year ago.
The average agency spent $2.8 million in the period.
“There’s really not a clear winner in terms of social media,” said Scott Borman, the president of AdRoll, in a telephone interview.
“If you look at the bigger brands, Instagram and Twitter have really stepped up and the number of engagement they have with people on these platforms is really good.
And Facebook has really taken off, which is what really has helped them really compete.
But then there are a lot of smaller brands who are struggling.”
Borman said the findings were based on information that had been provided to the agencies by Facebook in February.
Facebook’s advertising revenue from social media is $2,945 million, or just 0.2% of the company’s total revenue.
Facebook said in February that it would not comment on the data.
The study, which also analyzed data from a private Facebook analytics firm, found that the average agency spends about $1.5 million a year on ads on social platforms.
It also found that Facebook’s share of overall ad spending on social is smaller than Google’s.
Google, which owns Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, said it didn’t have any data to share on how much its advertisers spend on social and other platforms.
Facebook declined to comment.
The average agency has about 1.5 billion monthly active users, according the study, and its average ad spend on Instagram is $4.8 per user, compared with $4 per user for Facebook.
In total, Facebook has $19.7 billion in revenue from advertising.
Instagram, meanwhile, has $10.4 billion in advertising revenue, according a March report by the research firm Forrester Research.
“Instagram and Facebook have really done an incredible job of monetizing their brands through advertising,” said Matt Krieger, president of advertising and consumer insights at Forrested.
“That’s really helped them build up their brand.”
Forrester, which provides data on consumer behaviors, also conducted a study on social sharing.
The results were similar to that of Adroll.
The number of Instagram and Facebook users on each platform increased by more than a quarter between the first half of 2015 and the first third of 2016, the report found.
The number of Facebook users increased by 3.9% in the quarter after the first, compared to a 1.6% increase in the same quarter a year earlier.
The trend in the two platforms, though, is different, Forresters research found.
Instagram has more than 1.3 billion users, and Facebook has more 1.4 million.
Instagram’s active users increased 7.2%.
The number who were not using Instagram declined by about 4%.
“The fact that Instagram is growing so rapidly, and so rapidly at the same time, and that the number is so low for Facebook, speaks to both the fact that both are really really, really good brands, and it speaks to the fact the number, and the popularity of Instagram, is really, truly growing,” said Krieer.
In the U.K., where Instagram is based, the number one brand on Facebook has almost doubled since last year, according AdRoll’s research.
Facebook is still the second-largest brand on Instagram, with 2.2 million users, the study found.
In China, which has seen a significant surge in the popularity and usage of social networking sites such as Instagram and WhatsApp, the average Instagram user has almost tripled since last May, according forrester.
Instagram is also the top-performing social media network in China, with more than 13 million users and 4 million daily active users.
AdRoll’s study also found the number and total amount of ads posted on Instagram has grown by a third since last March, while the number on Facebook decreased.
Facebook, meanwhile has seen the biggest drop in the number.
Advertisers have been experimenting with different types of social sharing tools, such as sponsored posts and sponsored videos, to see how they can use their audience to increase revenue.