Facebook Inc To Benefit Most From Ad Dollars Shift, Twitter Second

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is expected to emerge as the greatest beneficiary of the ad dollars that are switching from the traditional media to online platforms while Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) should come in second, according to a September 16th report from Cantor Fitzerald analysts Youssef Squali, Naved Khan and Kip Paulson. The conclusion is based on an analysis of top U.S. social media platforms in terms of users, engagement and monetization.

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Facebook way ahead

The CF analysts noted that Facebook far outstrips all other players in terms of maximum reach in the United States at around 205 million unique visitors/viewers across various platforms in August (data from ComScore). The social networker has added around 4.1 million users since June. Twitter comes second with 121 million, followed by LinkedIn at 86.15 million and Instagram (owned by Facebook) at 80.7 million.


In August, Twitter users declined 470K, a drop of -0.4% on a monthly basis. However, July was strong for the company adding over 4.1 million, a rise of 3.5% compared to Facebook Inc’s 2.1% over the same period. LinkedIn and Tumblr were the fastest growing platforms in August with an increase of 8.1% and 12.6% month over month to 86.1 million and 47.3 million, respectively.

Facebook took away the larger share of the total time spent online at 17%. Facebook users spent 217.6 billion minutes on the social networking site in August, which can be broken down to 35 minutes per user on average. These minutes add up to 253.3 billion when including Instagram with an average of 37.4 minutes per user.

Twitter impressive with mobile performance

On the mobile platform, however, Twitter is the defacto leader. Total time spent on Twitter accounts for 8.1%, which is less than Facebook, but since Twitter is a real-time, communication platform, user growth is a much more important metric compared to the time spent, according to analysts. Twitter users prefer to use the mobile platform compared to Facebook users, and analysts note that approximately 90% of the time spent on Twitter is on mobile compared to 71% for Facebook.

Facebook is ahead of Twitter, when it comes to monetization as the former posted ad revenue per MAU of $2.06 in the second-quarter of 2014, which is almost double that of Twitter’s $1.02 and LinkedIn’s $0.34. For the financial year 2014, Facebook is estimated to post a MAU of $8.72, with Twitter at $4.26 and LinkedIn estimated to report a MAU of $1.22 per user.

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