As social media’s influence on our everyday life continues to grow, the total number of users will increase and subsequently the money spent on and revenue generated via these mediums will rise. Generator Research predict that the total number of users of social networks globally will reach 1.8 billion by the end of the year and that we will see an increase of 38% by 2017. This will see the total number of social media users hit 2.5 billion in 2017 .
The report, entitled “Social Networking and Social Media: 2013”, also predicts that the average revenue per user (ARPU) will increase, in addition to the overall growth in revenue.
Growing user numbers will make advertising and communication on social networking sites a far more attractive proposition for brands. This will see the revenue of social networking sites increase and it is forecast that total global revenue will hit $30.1 billion by 2017, rising from the $16.2 billion expected this year.
However, due to the unpredictability and volatility of the social network landscape, it is difficult to predict which changes this growth could prompt and which sites will survive to reap the rewards. Myspace’s monumental decline could easily be seen again and it is likely that one of the currently popular sites will have fallen from grace by this time.
Also it begs the question of whether the prospect of generating greater revenue will see some sites, which are currently advert-free, introduce advertising and how users would react to this. For example, what if Facebook decided to introduce advertising on Instagram? and how would Pinterest users react if the site’s owners were tempted into advertising on the site? Comment and let us know your views on this!